Mar 04,2021

More than 10,000 pieces of new news a day. News update non-stop 24/7.  Mitch McConnell on Donald Trump: We're looking to the 'future,' not 'the past'.  Inspector General’s Report Cites Elaine Chao for Misuse of Office.  Trade fairness and economic recovery on Biden’s national security agenda.  Lawmakers, policy analysts call for federal unemployment to offer $400 weekly boost, expire in September.  Virginia U.S. senators send White House list of candidates for U.S. Attorney posts.  U.S. House cancels Thursday session after police warn of possible plot on Capitol.  U.S. suspends federal agent who joined crowd outside Capitol during rampage, lawyer says.  House scraps work schedule amid security threat.  U.S. House cancels Thursday session after police warn of possible plot on Capitol.  Haaland confirmation likely after picking up support from Collins.  More than 10,000 pieces of new news a day. News update non-stop 24/7.  Kaufman’s revenge.  Police uncover ‘possible plot’ by militia to breach Capitol.  ‘Unusual’ restrictions placed on National Guard before Capitol riot, general says.  Trumps Aim for Hefty Profit on $49 Million Palm Beach, Florida, Mansion.  Voting rights an intensifying partisan battleground, as Democrats push H.R. 1 and Republicans alter election procedures at state level.  National Guard troops defending Capitol say they’ve been made sick by eating raw chicken, mouldy bread, and metal shavings.  Daily Crunch: Google swears off ad-tracking.  House cancels Thursday votes amid security threats at Capitol.  US gets 'C-,' faces $2.59 trillion in infrastructure needs over 10 years: report.  ‘Unraveling’: America’s two major parties are at war over the rules that govern voting.  
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Mitch McConnell on Donald Trump: We're looking to the 'future,' not 'the past'
       
“We're dealing with the present and the future, not looking back to the past," McConnell told Fox News. OnPolitics:The GOP's Trump problemOnly one of the Senate Republican impeachers – Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska – is planning to be on a ballot in 2022. In his Fox interview on Wednesday, McConnell said "absolutely we support Sen. Murkowski," and dismissed the complaints about impeachment during Trump's speech. The CPAC speech came less than two weeks after Trump issued a scathing attack on McConnell over his criticism regarding the Jan. 6 insurrection. "Yeah, well, I want to thank him for the 15-point margin I had in 2014 as well," McConnell told reporters.
Inspector General’s Report Cites Elaine Chao for Misuse of Office
       
WASHINGTON — The Transportation Department’s inspector general asked the Justice Department in December to consider a criminal investigation into what it said was Elaine Chao’s misuse of her office as transportation secretary in the Trump administration to help promote her family’s shipping business, which is run by her sister and has extensive business ties with China. In a report made public on Wednesday, the inspector general said the Justice Department’s criminal and public integrity divisions both declined to take up the matter in the closing weeks of the Trump administration, even after the inspector general found repeated examples of Ms. Chao using her staff and her office to help benefit her family and their business operations and revealed that staff members at the agency had raised ethics concerns. “A formal investigation into potential misuses of position was warranted,” Mitch Behm, the department’s deputy inspector general, said on Tuesday in a letter to House lawmakers, accompanying a 44-page report detailing the investigation and the findings of wrongdoing. Ms. Chao, the wife of Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, announced her resignation on Jan. 7, the day after the Capitol riot. At the time of her departure, an aide to Ms. Chao said her resignation was unrelated to the forthcoming release of the investigation.
Trade fairness and economic recovery on Biden’s national security agenda
       
“Our policies must reflect a basic truth: in today’s world, economic security is national security,” the White House document said. “We will make sure that the rules of the international economy are not tilted against the United States,” the report said. The last formal National Security Strategy report was released in 2017, under Trump. ADBiden’s priorities share similarities with Trump’s, including identifying China as a strategic competitor in most realms. They haven’t worked.”Still, the Biden administration has not been shy about using military force.
Lawmakers, policy analysts call for federal unemployment to offer $400 weekly boost, expire in September
       
The House passed its version of legislation early Saturday, and the Senate is debating provisions this week. Some, including Pancotti, are calling for federal benefit expirations to be tied to labor market indicators, such as the unemployment rate. Without action, 11.4 million people are expected to start losing jobless aid on March 14, according to estimates from The Century Foundation. The weekly federal unemployment boost was up for debate again this week with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) A growing body of research has shown no such correlation between boosted unemployment pay and people not returning to work.
Virginia U.S. senators send White House list of candidates for U.S. Attorney posts
       
Slideshow ( 2 images )WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Virginia’s U.S. Senate Democrats said on Wednesday they were submitting four potential candidates to the White House to be considered for the state’s top two federal prosecutor posts. For the Western District of Virginia U.S. Attorney, they are recommending Erin Ashwell, who serves as chief deputy attorney general for Virginia, and Christopher Kavanaugh, an assistant U.S. Attorney who helped prosecute self-professed Neo-Nazi James Alex Fields, Jr, for killing a counterprotester at the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Biden will decide who to nominate, but traditionally each state’s home senators play a role in interviewing, vetting and recommending candidates for the nation’s 93 U.S. Attorney jobs. The U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Virginia is known for handling many of the country’s high-profile terrorism and national security-related prosecutions. Acting U.S. Attorney Raj Parekh, a career federal prosecutor who is the first person of color to lead the office, did not apply for the job.
U.S. House cancels Thursday session after police warn of possible plot on Capitol
       
But a House Democratic aide said that the police warning, based on intelligence that “an identified militia group” could present a security threat, contributed to the change in plans. “The United States Capitol Police Department is aware of and prepared for any potential threats towards members of Congress or towards the Capitol complex,” it said in its statement. The police statement noted that the department already has made “significant security upgrades” at the Capitol, home to the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. On Tuesday, Acting House Sergeant at Arms Timothy Blodgett notified members of Congress of a possible security threat spanning Thursday through Saturday. Blodgett told lawmakers that the Capitol Police department has “enhanced” its security posture for the coming days.
U.S. suspends federal agent who joined crowd outside Capitol during rampage, lawyer says
       
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has suspended an agent who was outside the Capitol when a mob of Donald Trump supporters stormed the building, his lawyer said, in the first known case of authorities examining the conduct of a fellow federal agent during the deadly riot. Federal agents have charged more than 300 people so far with taking part in the riot, including several with connections to law enforcement. Gaspari said Ibrahim was outside the Capitol because “it was a historic event.” She said he did not pass a set of metal barricades outside the building that were quickly overrun by the crowd. Gaspari said he had turned in his resignation before Jan. 6, but withdrew it before it took effect. DEA officials learned Ibrahim had been outside the Capitol after he sent photographs from his phone to a group chat of fellow agents.
House scraps work schedule amid security threat
       
Razor wire fencing still encloses much of the Capitol Hill area, and members and staffers must enter through checkpoints manned by armed National Guard troops. Nonetheless, congressional leaders say they will heed the security warnings, with members still shaken from the violence that many of them witnessed two months ago. Some of the security presence, particularly the National Guard, appears to have diminished in recent weeks, though tighter new procedures — such as metal detectors into the House chambers — remain in place. Capitol security officials have indicated that they plan to beef up security for lawmakers in transit, recognizing that many have been targeted in recent months when they’re away from the building. We continue to see far-right extremist groups that are fueled by misinformation and conspiracy theories quickly become the most dangerous threat to society.”
U.S. House cancels Thursday session after police warn of possible plot on Capitol
       
“The United States Capitol Police Department is aware of and prepared for any potential threats towards members of Congress or towards the Capitol complex,” it said in its statement. The statement noted that police have made “significant security upgrades” at the Capitol, home to the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. On Tuesday, Acting House Sergeant at Arms Timothy Blodgett notified Congress members of a possible security threat spanning Thursday through Saturday. Congress has held hearings on the riot and congressional leaders in coming days are expected to receive recommendations for new, permanent security measures at the Capitol. The House impeached Trump on Jan. 13 on a charge of inciting an insurrection, focusing on an incendiary speech he made to supporters shortly before the mob converged on the Capitol.
Haaland confirmation likely after picking up support from Collins
       
Collin’s statement comes after Sen. Joe Manchin, the moderate West Virginia Democrat who chairs the Energy Committee, said he would vote to confirm Haaland. “While we will not always agree on the administration’s policy, I want to be clear and open with you,” Haaland wrote. Haaland replied, in part, “I support affordable energy prices for all Americans and understand that prices fluctuate and can hurt consumers.”The answers did not sway Barrasso, who along with fellow GOP senators Steve Daines (Mont.) Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho asked Haaland about her support for expanding electric transmission grids, a policy issue that Haaland backed during her time in the House. He also asked her whether she supported encouraging mining on public lands, which experts say will be needed to supply the fast growing markets for battery and electrification technology.
Kaufman’s revenge
       
Kaufman’s revenge Presented by Defending Democracy TogetherWith help from Allie BiceWelcome to POLITICO’s 2021 Transition Playbook, your guide to the first 100 days of the Biden administrationTED KAUFMAN does not strike the pose of a #resistance icon. If the Biden administration isn’t explicitly anti-Wall Street, it’s certainly the least Wall Street White House in many decades. Kaufman’s anti-Wall Street streak may be more visceral than Biden’s, but it’s not completely out of step with it. NEC director BRIAN DEESE worked for Wall Street firm BlackRock as the global head of sustainable investing after working all eight years of the Obama administration. As a senator, Kaufman’s two central objectives were reforming presidential transitions and hemming in Wall Street after the Great Recession.
Police uncover ‘possible plot’ by militia to breach Capitol
       
Capitol Police say they have intelligence showing a “possible plot” by a militia group to breach the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, nearly two months after a mob of supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the iconic building to try to stop Congress from certifying now-President Joe Biden's victory. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, rioters storm the Capitol, in Washington. Capitol Police say they have intelligence showing a “possible plot” by a militia group to breach the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, nearly two months after a mob of supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the iconic building to try to stop Congress from certifying now-President Joe Biden's victory. Police were ill-prepared for the mass of Trump supporters in tactical gear, some armed, and it took hours for National Guard reinforcements to come. “We have obtained intelligence that shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group on Thursday, March 4.” Police did not identify the militia group in the statement.
‘Unusual’ restrictions placed on National Guard before Capitol riot, general says
       
WASHINGTON — Defense Department leaders placed unusual restrictions on the National Guard for the day of the Capitol riot and delayed sending help for hours despite an urgent plea from police for reinforcement, according to testimony Wednesday that added to the finger-pointing about the government response. Guard troops who had been waiting on buses were then rushed to the Capitol, arriving in 18 minutes, Walker said. “The Army senior leadership” expressed “that it would not be their best military advice to have uniformed Guardsmen on the Capitol,” Walker said. Contee said Sund was pleading with Army officials to deploy National Guard troops as the rioting escalated. Thousands of National Guard troops are still patrolling the fenced-in Capitol, and multiple committees across Congress are investigating mistakes made on Jan. 6.
Trumps Aim for Hefty Profit on $49 Million Palm Beach, Florida, Mansion
       
A Palm Beach mansion opposite former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and with longstanding ties to his family has hit the market for $49 million. The younger Mr. Trump, 37, touted the new listing on his personal twitter account Wednesday morning. Mr. Moens did not respond to a request for comment. Along with its close proximity to Mar-a-Lago, the home sits directly opposite a mansion that also belongs to the former president, property records show. The Palm Beach Daily News first reported the listing.
Voting rights an intensifying partisan battleground, as Democrats push H.R. 1 and Republicans alter election procedures at state level
       
Yet to many Republicans, it amounts to an unwarranted federal intrusion into a process that states should control. The bill would mandate early voting, same-day registration and other long-sought changes that Republicans reject. “ Former Virginia attorney general and Trump administration official Ken Cuccinelli is spearheading a $5 million campaign to pressure Senate Democrats to oppose H.R. Democrats say their aim is to make it easier for more people to vote, regardless of partisan affiliation. But challenges lie ahead in the Senate, which is split 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats, including the independents who caucus with Democrats.
National Guard troops defending Capitol say they’ve been made sick by eating raw chicken, mouldy bread, and metal shavings
       
The sergeant also claimed the troops, some of whom he said have been hospitalised after eating the food provided for them, were also served mouldy bread and food containing metal shavings. “Yesterday, for instance, there were 74 different meals found with raw beef in them,” the sergeant told WXYZ before providing them with photos of the undercooked meat. “Since the beginning of the mission on 7 January, we’ve served about 26,000 personnel more than 1.2 million meals. And of that, in 0.01 per cent we’ve discovered the appearance of undercooked meals,” the spokesperson said. Five people died and several more were injured on that day, causing House members to barricade themselves inside their offices.
Daily Crunch: Google swears off ad-tracking
       
Google says it's focusing on privacy-friendly approaches to ad targeting, Okta acquires Auth0 and a flying taxi startup raises $241 million. This is your Daily Crunch for March 3, 2021. Instead, he pointed to Google technologies like its interest-based Federated Learning of Cohorts. The tech giantsOkta acquires cloud identity startup Auth0 for $6.5B — With Auth0, Okta gets a cloud identity company that helps developers embed identity management into applications. The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch's roundup of our biggest and most important stories.
House cancels Thursday votes amid security threats at Capitol
       
The House of Representatives canceled votes Thursday in Washington amid new security threats at the Capitol and members will work late into the evening Wednesday. House leadership announced the sudden change in plans Wednesday. The House was to vote Thursday on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, but instead the House will vote on that police reform measure late Wednesday and cancel votes for the remainder of the week. WARREN, PRESSLEY AMONG DEMS PUSHING TO STRIP POLICE OF 'QUALIFIED IMMUNITY'Police announced Wednesday increased security at the Capitol amid new potential threats to lawmakers and the Capitol complex. Lawmakers are still reeling from Jan. 6 riot when pro-Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, destroyed property, threatened lawmakers and forced Congress to evacuate.
US gets 'C-,' faces $2.59 trillion in infrastructure needs over 10 years: report
       
The United States faces a $2.59 trillion shortfall in infrastructure needs that requires a massive jump in government spending to address crumbling roads, bridges and other programs, according to an assessment by an engineers group issued on Wednesday. The biggest projected gap is in surface transportation, which faces $1.2 trillion in projected unmet needs over 10 years, while water systems face $434 billion and schools $380 billion in funding gaps. It remains unclear how Biden or Congress will fund new infrastructure spending. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESSThe report praised state and local governments for boosting infrastructure spending. Since 2010, 37 U.S. states raised gas taxes to fund transportation and U.S. voters approved 98% of local infrastructure ballot initiatives in November.
‘Unraveling’: America’s two major parties are at war over the rules that govern voting
       
To an extent not seen in a century, America’s two major parties have gone to battle over the rules that govern voting — an intensifying fight that threatens to dominate and embitter the country’s politics. Skirmishes along the battle line flared repeatedly this week:At the Supreme Court, Republican and Democratic lawyers clashed over part of the landmark Voting Rights Act. And it would restore voting rights nationwide to felons who have completed their terms, giving voting rights back to several million people. AdvertisementIn the 1960s, for example, Congress engaged in marathon debates over voting rights for Black Americans. But those fights, which led to passage of the Voting Rights Act and outlawed poll taxes with the 24th Amendment, split both parties.
Watchdog finds GOP congressman harassed staff, drank while serving as White House physician
       
After allegations emerged that Jackson had improperly distributed prescription drugs, created a hostile work environment, and had problems with drinking, the White House withdrew his nomination. AdvertisementJackson went on to win a crowded Republican primary race to represent a district in northeastern Texas and was elected to Congress in 2020. “I also categorically deny any implication that I was in any way sexually inappropriate at work, outside of work, or anywhere with any member of my staff or anyone else. Jackson had previously recounted to witnesses that he found that rule to be stupid, investigators found. AdvertisementFormer subordinates interviewed by investigators additionally raised the concern that Jackson took Ambien, a powerful sleep-aid medication, to help him sleep during long overseas travel.
In a concession to Democratic moderates, Biden signs off on tighter income limits for stimulus checks
       
Under the changes agreed to by Biden and Senate Democratic leaders, individuals earning $75,000 per year and couples earning $150,000 would still receive the full $1,400-per-person benefit. Narrowing eligibility for the stimulus checks was just one change Democratic moderates such as Shaheen and Senator Joe Manchin of West Virgina had been seeking. Senate Democrats do not intend to adopt the suggested change to unemployment benefits, and they will stay at $400 per week, the aide said. The unemployment benefits are set to expire March 14; the Biden bill would extend them through August. With 50 votes in the Senate, Democrats must stay united to pass the legislation, with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking any tie.
Progressive loss in State House primary resurfaces debate over ranked-choice voting
       
If Tuesday’s race was a test of Massachusetts liberals’ electoral mettle, they did not pass. To some, this week’s outcome points to the need for ranked-choice voting, a system Massachusetts voters rejected last year, 55 percent to 45 percent. It was “a tragic thing to see that the first election to happen after the defeat of [ranked-choice voting] on the ballot last year is one where ranked-choice voting very well could have led to a different outcome,” said Jonathan Cohn, elections committee chair for Progressive Massachusetts, which had backed Jaramillo. For Turco, discussion of ranked-choice voting amounts to “sour grapes,” and his victory is a win for the political center. Jaramillo, who supports ranked-choice voting, said he considered Tuesday a victory in that “this community overwhelmingly voted for pro-worker, pro-immigrant, pro-women values,” he said.
Horde of candidates vying to replace the late Ron Wright of Arlington in Congressional District 6
       
At least 18 candidates are running in the special election to replace the late Arlington Republican Ron Wright in Congress. The lesser-known GOP candidates are Arlington business and English lecturer Michael Ballantine, tax attorney John Anthony Castro of Mansfield, Arlington lawyer Sery Kim, Austin caregiver Jenny Garcia Sharon, Arlington businessman Michael Wood, Arlington police officer Travis Rodermund and Arlington Republican Mike Egan. Michael F. Olson, Bishop of Fort Worth, leads the funeral service for Congressman Ron Wright Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, at Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas. Moses is making his first run for public office, while Lassiter was a 2021 candidate for the Fort Worth City Council. Though the district leans Republican, a strong Democratic candidate could be a threat if the candidate can make the runoff.
Tank Noodle staff gets $700,000 in back pay after Labor Dept. probe
       
The agency said it recovered the money for 60 employees of Tank Noodle, 4953 N. Broadway. Scott Allen, a spokesman for the Labor Department, said the investigation covered the restaurant’s activities from January 2018 to January 2020. He said Tank Noodle agreed to restitution last December and that “a good portion” of the workers have received their money. Federal records show Tank Noodle received $163,557 in loans from the Paycheck Protection Program last May to retain 30 jobs. Allen said that money had no role in the Labor Department probe.
Defense officials restricted sending National Guard to Capitol riot
       
Defense Department leaders placed unusual restrictions on the National Guard for the day of the Capitol riot and delayed sending help for hours despite an urgent plea from police for reinforcement. The hourslong delay cost the National Guard precious minutes in the early hours of the rioting. Another military official who testified said that then-acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller wanted to make the decisions of how the National Guard was used following criticism last spring. Much of the focus on Wednesday’s Senate hearing centered on communications between the National Guard and the Defense Department. Contee said Sund was pleading with Army officials to deploy National Guard troops as the rioting escalated.
House to wrap early, cancels Thursday session amid threat of violence at the Capitol by a militia group
       
Capitol Police said earlier Wednesday they have uncovered intelligence of a “possible plot” by a militia group to breach the U.S. Capitol on Thursday. The news comes nearly two months after a mob of supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the iconic building to try to stop Congress from certifying now-President Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
Capitol Police say they have intelligence of a ‘possible plot’ by a militia group to breach US Capitol on Thursday
       
The announcement comes as the Capitol police and other law enforcement agencies are taking heat from Congress in contentious hearings this week on their handling of the Jan. 6 riot. Police were ill-prepared for the mass of Trump supporters in tactical gear, some armed, and it took hours for National Guard reinforcements to come. By then, rioters had broken and smashed their way into the building and roamed the halls for hours, stalling Congress’ certification effort temporarily and sending lawmakers into hiding.
Official: Democrats OK tightened income limits for relief
       
The COVID-19 relief measure Senate Democrats planned to unveil will also retain the $400 weekly emergency jobless benefits that were included in a House-approved version of the legislation, the official said. The Senate bill was expected to largely mirror the House-approved package, with the most glaring divergence the Senate’s dropping of language boosting the federal minimum wage to $15 hourly. Democrats’ push to include it in later legislation suggested an effort to satisfy progressives while avoiding jeopardizing the current package. Progressives, though, were still smarting over the virtual certainty that the Senate bill will lack the minimum wage boost, up from $7.25 hourly locked in since 2009. Opposition by moderates including Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., has left Democrats without the votes needed to salvage it.
Eight injured in 'suspected terrorist' stabbings in Sweden
       
“In fact, the campaign’s cash balance is actually higher than previously listed on the campaign finance reports. In the 2016 cycle, before Donald Trump was elected, the Jordan campaign received a little over $733,000 and spent about $423,000, according to FEC records. But in 2020, they soared: he raked in $18.6 million and spent $13.2 million, and now sits on a $6 million stash. “FEC reports carry-forward financial information to subsequent reports,” he said. “The lack of a quorum of commissioners until the end of last year meant that FEC enforcement had stalled.
Threats to Capitol prompt House to cancel Thursday votes
       
House Democrats will accelerate passage of a sweeping police reform bill, bringing the legislation to the floor Wednesday night — and canceling votes Thursday — amid revelations of new threats to the Capitol. Democrats had initially intended a Thursday vote on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021. "[There's] growing concern about threats to the Capitol and Democratic lawmakers in particular tomorrow," one Democratic lawmaker texted. The heightened security has been condemned by many of Trump's Republican allies on Capitol Hill, who have accused Democrats of maintaining unnecessary precautions against a nonexistent threat simply to portray Trump's supporters as universally violent. Although the House will now be on recess beginning Thursday, the Senate is scheduled to remain in session as it continues work on a massive coronavirus relief package.
US Border: Unaccompanied kids being held by Border Patrol for 77 hours on average
       
On average, over the last 21 days the US Border Patrol, part of Customs and Border Protection, arrested around 340 children who crossed the US-Mexico border alone, according to preliminary data outlined in the document. The Biden administration has been reluctant to call the situation unfolding on the US-Mexico border a crisis, instead referring to it as a challenge. After being taken into Border Patrol custody, unaccompanied children are turned over to HHS. in January 2019, the year where there were surges on the border, the Border Patrol encountered 5,515 unaccompanied children. Customs and Border Protection acknowledged the increases in border crossing.
Nikki Haley doesn’t understand Republican hatred of a diverse America, says former senior GOP strategist
       
A former senior strategist in the Republican Party has said that former Trump UN Ambassador and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley does not understand the hatred of a diverse America brewing with the base of the GOP. Please enter your email address Please enter a valid email address Please enter a valid email address SIGN UP Thanks for signing up to the Inside Washington newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. Read our privacy notice Thanks for signing up to the Inside Washington newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. The reason why he became the Republican nominee is because that's who the Republican Party is. He said that what really unites the Republican base "is this complete hate of a diverse America," adding that any Republican who takes a stand against Donald Trump doesn't "recognize what the modern Republican Party fundamentally is".
Klobuchar tears into Ron Johnson for conspiracy theory blaming Jan 6 on ‘provocateurs’
       
Minnesota Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar has resisted Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson's repeated attempt to divert the blame from the Capitol riot onto a few so-called "provocateurs". During a joint Senate hearing Wednesday, Mr Johnson said he was only trying to seek out "the truth". Please enter your email address Please enter a valid email address Please enter a valid email address SIGN UP Thanks for signing up to the Inside Washington newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. Read our privacy notice Thanks for signing up to the Inside Washington newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. Mr Johnson read selectively from the piece aloud: "Then, a loud, bellowing shout from behind: ‘Forward!
Biden urges Democrats to stick together on $1.9trn Covid relief plan as progressives grumble it’s not enough
       
Joe Biden spoke to House Democrats on a conference call on Wednesday to urge them to continue backing his $1.9trn Covid relief plan, a wide-ranging proposal that has been taking weeks to wend its way towards the legislative finish line. “It’s good policy,” Mr Biden said, “and it’s good politics.”After a public round of fawning introductory remarks from Mr Biden and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the president threw on the cloak of privacy to field questions from members gathered virtually for the House Democrats’ annual retreat. Please enter your email address Please enter a valid email address Please enter a valid email address SIGN UP Thanks for signing up to the Inside Washington newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. Read our privacy notice Thanks for signing up to the Inside Washington newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. Senate Democrats had planned to vote on their own Covid relief package this week.
Thousands of asylum seekers cross US-Mexico border after year-long wait
       
Asylum seekers who have been waiting at the border for over a year while they pursued their cases have started entering the US this week. After taking office in January, President Biden announced it would suspend enrolment in the Trump administration’s Migration Protection Protocols program, known as MPP, also known as the “remain in Mexico” program.
Trump accused of ‘political interference’ in case of Huawei executive held in Canada
       
Donald Trump’s comments about intervening in the case of a Huawei executive to get a better trade deal with China are being cited by lawyers as a reason to have her extradition case dismissed. The former president’s alleged political interference and violation of her legal rights have now been presented as reasons by her lawyers that Ms Meng’s extradition case should be thrown out. Please enter your email address Please enter a valid email address Please enter a valid email address SIGN UP Thanks for signing up to the News newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. Read our privacy notice Thanks for signing up to the News newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. China’s ambassador to Canada said in a video press conference on Twitter on Wednesday that Ottawa could restore relations between the two countries by quickly releasing Ms Meng.
More than 200,000 Americans signed up for Obamacare within two weeks of Biden reopening healthcare marketplace
       
Joe Biden re-opened the federal health insurance marketplace to uninsured Americans from 15 February through 15 May. Please enter your email address Please enter a valid email address Please enter a valid email address SIGN UP Thanks for signing up to the Inside Washington newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. Read our privacy notice Thanks for signing up to the Inside Washington newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. Nearly 15 million Americans lost employer-sponsored health insurance plans by October 2020, according to a report from the Commonwealth Fund. Following his inauguration, Mr Biden issued an executive order to temporarily reopen the government’s insurance marketplace.
Russia and Turkey Scramble to Avoid Conflict. And What do U.S. Democratic Primaries Mean for Moscow?
       
This week on the podcast:— The leaders of Russia and Turkey meet in Moscow on Thursday in a bid to de-escalate fighting in Syria which has brought the two countries to the brink of direct military confrontation. Financial Times Bureau Chief Henry Foy joins us in the studio to discuss what is at stake for both countries. The episode was recorded and edited at CM Records Studio in central Moscow. Read More:Russia’s Syria gamble under pressure as Turkey attacks in IdlibHawks say Sanders will be weak on Russia. But Putin should fear a President Bernie
Insurrection and Sedition in Russian Translation
       
In other words, I’m very into sedition and insurrection these days. Russian has four main words for insurrection, ranging from big and planned to spontaneous and/or violent. And then there’s ???? (rebellion, revolt, uprising), which is often even less organized and even more riotous than ????????? or ?????. To describe what happened in Washington D.C. on Jan. 6, Russian newspapers and commentators used pretty much every word in the book — ?????, ????, ????????? — subtleties of language be damned. ????????? ???????? ?????? ? ????????????????? ? ?????? (Democrats accused Trump of sedition).
AOC Warns Biden That Giving Relief Checks to Fewer People Than Trump Would Be Nonsensical 'Own-Goal'
       
"I don't understand the political or economic wisdom in allowing Trump to give more people relief checks than a Democratic administration. "I don't understand the political or economic wisdom in allowing Trump to give more people relief checks than a Democratic administration." Conservative Dems have fought so the Biden admin sends fewer & less generous relief checks than the Trump admin did. "That means more generous relief checks, $15 min wage, ending the filibuster to protect our democracy. But one is that this would likely ensure that many of oft-discussed middle-class suburbanites who flipped from Trump to Biden will have received stimulus checks from Trump but not Biden.
Trump wants GOP supporters’ cash. So does the party. Therein could lie a rub
       
Save America has more than $80 million in cash on hand, including $3 million raised after the CPAC speech, according to a person familiar with the total. He’s already endorsed a Republican challenger to GOP Rep. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, who voted to impeach Trump over the U.S. Capitol riot. Money raised through Trump’s website now goes to Save America JFC, a joint fundraising agreement between the two. AdvertisementAnd the National Republican Senatorial Committee warned this week that its “limited edition” T-shirts featuring Trump were almost sold out. Regardless of Trump’s next move, the GOP is unlikely to remove him from its sales pitch anytime soon.
Team Biden surprises with positive vaccine news
       
Vaccine manufacturer Merck, a competitor of Johnson & Johnson, then agreed to help manufacture the newly approved vaccine to double its U.S. capacity, a move brokered by the Biden White House. Using the Defense Production Act, the Biden administration allocated $100 million to expand drug manufacturing and to convert a Merck facility into a manufacturing plant. Everything clicked into place on Saturday, when the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was approved by the FDA. Postal Service and FedEx hubs for delivery on Tuesday, when the first Johnson & Johnson vaccines were administered to Americans. Still, the challenge of vaccinating enough Americans to reach herd immunity is momentous and not entirely within Biden’s control.
US Border: Unaccompanied kids being held by Border Patrol for 77 hours on average
       
On average, over the last 21 days the US Border Patrol, part of Customs and Border Protection, arrested around 340 children who crossed the US-Mexico border alone, according to preliminary data outlined in the document. The average time in Border Patrol facilities, which are not designed to hold children, was 77 hours, longer than the 72 permitted under US law. After being taken into Border Patrol custody, unaccompanied children are turned over to HHS. in January 2019, the year where there were surges on the border, the Border Patrol encountered 5,515 unaccompanied children. Customs and Border Protection acknowledged the increases in border crossing.
House cancels Thursday session after police warn of 'possible plot to breach the Capitol'
       
WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives canceled its Thursday session after receiving information about a possible security threat at the Capitol on March 4. The United States Capitol Police said Wednesday they were aware of a “possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group,” and a notice sent to all congressional offices said the agency was bolstering its security presence on Capitol Hill. March 4 has been highlighted by the debunked QAnon conspiracy as the “true inauguration day” for former President Donald Trump. More:Police bolster security at US Capitol as QAnon theory claims Trump will become president March 4The Senate has not announced plans to discontinue its Thursday session. The House moved its remaining votes for the week to Wednesday night to avoid putting lawmakers at risk on Thursday.
General: Pentagon hesitated on sending Guard to Capitol riot
       
Guard troops who had been waiting on buses were then rushed to the Capitol, arriving in 18 minutes, Walker said. “The Army senior leadership” expressed “that it would not be their best military advice to have uniformed Guardsmen on the Capitol,” Walker said. Much of the focus at Wednesday’s Senate hearing was on communications between the National Guard and the Defense Department. Contee said Sund was pleading with Army officials to deploy National Guard troops as the rioting escalated. Thousands of National Guard troops are still patrolling the fenced-in Capitol, and multiple committees across Congress are investigating mistakes made on Jan. 6.
Hopefully Whoever Replaces Neera Tanden as OMB Nominee Has Never Called Ted Cruz a “Vampire”
       
That was a no-go for the White House, as Politico reported, and Biden accepted Tanden’s letter withdrawing from consideration. “You should be judged by the time,” one White House official told PBS correspondent Yamiche Alcindor. “And the time we were in, we just had a fool in the White House tweeting all kinds of shit. — How the COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Was Hobbled by Turf Wars and Magical Thinking— From the Archive: The Complicated Dynamic Between the Young JFK, His Formidable Brother, and Their Tycoon Father— Not a subscriber? Join Vanity Fair to receive full access to VF.com and the complete online archive now.
“You Want Him Weakened So He Can’t Run”: Democrats Are Playing War Games With Andrew Cuomo’s Political Future
       
Rumors have been swirling among New York Democrats that more women will be coming forward with new allegations. Democratic political operatives I spoke to said Cuomo would be unlikely to survive if a new accuser came forward. Another reason Cuomo looks like he will weather the storm is that powerful Democrats aren’t motivated to push him out the door. “If you’re James, you want him weakened so he can’t run,” the political consultant said. “The behavior described in these allegations against Governor Cuomo is completely unacceptable, and every allegation of sexual harassment must be taken seriously and be reviewed,” she said.
The Mandalorian’s Bill Burr on Gina Carano: “She Was an Absolute Sweetheart”
       
The Mandalorian actor Bill Burr weighed in on Lucasfilm severing ties with Gina Carano in a recent episode of his podcast. Super-nice fucking person,” Burr said on his podcast The Bill Bert Podcast, which he co-hosts with Bert Kreischer. The post was one of many offensive stances Carano publicized in the last few months. “Joe DeRosa with an interesting take, look at you!” Burr replied. Now I gotta watch what the fuck I say.”“It’s fucking crazy time,” Burr continued.
Colbert: Don Jr. Whines About Dr. Seuss Because He Reads “at a Second-Grade Level”
       
Seuss books should be fun for all people: Black, white, straight, gay. “These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” Dr. Seuss Enterprises told the Associated Press in a statement. “I literally know The Cat in the Hat by heart,” Trump Jr. groused in a Fox News clip rolled by Colbert. “Also I think his dad calls him and Eric [Trump] Thing 1 and Thing 2.”Besides, Colbert reminded viewers, there are millions of other children’s books to choose from. Join Vanity Fair to receive full access to VF.com and the complete online archive now.
White House Doc Who Said Trump Could Live to 200 Reportedly Sexually Harassed Staff, Got Wasted on the Job
       
Remember Ronny Jackson? Former White House doctor nicknamed the Candyman because of the way he allegedly doled out prescription drugs? Claimed that Donald Trump had “incredibly good genes” and that if he’d eaten a little healthier, he could have lived to be “200 years old”? Earned a nomination to run the Department of Veterans Affairs, which he later withdrew over accusations that he created a toxic work environment and was drunk on an overseas work trip? There’s a new Pentagon report out concerning his behavior, and it’s not a great look!
Pence Can’t Quit the Big Election Lie That Nearly Got Him Killed
       
The bill serves “one goal only: to give leftists a permanent, unfair, and unconstitutional advantage in our political system,” Pence wrote in the Daily Signal, arguing H.R.1 would hinder election reform at the state and local level. As is characteristic of those sowing unfounded doubt on the election process, the former vice president kept it vague. “I share the concerns of millions of Americans about the integrity of the 2020 election,” Pence wrote, reiterating evidence-free allegations of “an election marked by significant voting irregularities and numerous instances of officials setting aside state election law.” The op-ed—among his most substantial remarks since the Capitol attack—was notably without mention of the man who popularized such election misinformation, as Politico’s Kyle Cheney pointed out. “I do think he should’ve stood up for Trump,” one CPAC volunteer told the Times of the former president’s impossible request that Pence overturn Biden’s legitimate election victory. Join Vanity Fair to receive full access to VF.com and the complete online archive now.
Joe Exotic Hires Anti-Carole Baskin Attorney: Get Me Out of Prison!!
       
Tiger King star Carole Baskin was targeted with a DWTS ad by the family of her missing husband. Now, incarcerated reality star Joe Exotic appears to like that idea. On Tuesday, he shared that he had been retained by convicted animal abuser and attempted murderer Joe Exotic. Phillips says that it was after this attempt went nowhere that Joe Exotic reached out to him. One has to imagine that Joe Exotic selected Phillips since he is already going after Carole Baskin on behalf of her missing husband's family.
Live Updates: Narrower Income Limits for Stimulus Checks Win Biden’s Approval
       
michael barbaro From “The New York Times,” I’m Michael Barbaro. michael barbaro OK, and in terms of size and scale, how does this package number three stack up against the first two? jim tankersley You get aid to state and local governments, who have had to lay off a lot of workers. michael barbaro So this is non-traditional stimulus, but stimulus uniquely suited to a pandemic recession? michael barbaro Jim, this is a pretty historic thing to pass on a party line vote, $1.9 trillion in economic stimulus.
The world’s dramatic retreat from democracy, in one chart
       
Seventy-three countries saw their freedoms retreat, whereas just 28 countries made strides toward a more democratic society:That means nearly three-quarters of the earth’s people now live in a country where democracy is declining. Of those countries, some saw a deeper retreat than others, including Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Tanzania, India, and the United States. Meanwhile, the United States, the world’s most visible democracy, shed several points on the freedom index in the aftermath of its presidential election, when defeated candidate Donald Trump refused to concede. According to Freedom House, 2020 was a bad year for democracy across the board. And in El Salvador, the government deployed troops to enforce a COVID-19 lockdown, confining thousands of people for alleged violations.
What Biden’s Sustainability Agenda Means for Business
       
For both U.S. business, and any business operating in the U.S., the message is very clear: To survive and thrive in the net-zero future, now is the time to scale up climate action. Companies that fail to take climate action soon are risking that their products and services will become unviable. When it comes to climate, companies like Orsted are a great example of the benefits of taking decisive action. It aims to achieve 100% clean electricity nationwide by 2035, with 40% of clean energy funding directed to disadvantaged communities. By backing clean energy, Biden recognizes that it is competitive and will only become more so.
Mo’ money, less relief
       
And hate to break it to you, but not everyone is getting a third relief check. You may have a COVID-19 relief check coming your wayHave a sweet six-figure income? Senate Democrats reached a deal with President Joe Biden to limit the eligibility for $1,400 checks in his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill to Americans earning less than $80,000, according to two sources. Biden's COVID-19 relief plan includes a child tax credit boost popular with Democrats but a "nightmare" to Republicans. "I fully support a woman’s right to come forward, and I think it should be encouraged in every way," Cuomo said.
House cancels Thursday session after police warn of 'possible plot to breach the Capitol'
       
WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives canceled its Thursday session after receiving information about a possible security threat at the Capitol on March 4. The United States Capitol Police said Wednesday they were aware of a “possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group,” and a notice sent to all congressional offices said the agency was bolstering its security presence on Capitol Hill. March 4 has been highlighted by the debunked QAnon conspiracy as the “true inauguration day” for former President Donald Trump. More:Police bolster security at US Capitol as QAnon theory claims Trump will become president March 4The Senate has not announced plans to discontinue its Thursday session. The House moved its remaining votes for the week to Wednesday night to avoid putting lawmakers at risk on Thursday.
'You better look out': Joe Exotic is planning a 'Tiger King' tell-all book
       
The Tiger King is ready to tell his side of the story. Joseph "Joe Exotic" Maldonado-Passage's book, "Tiger King: The Official Tell-All Memoir," is set to be published in November from Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. The tell-all will focus on Maldonado-Passage, "a proud polygamist and self-proclaimed 'gun-toting, gay redneck with a mullet,'" says a description on the publisher's website. Maldonado-Passage rose to fame when Netflix released documentary "Tiger King" at the beginning of the 2020 pandemic. News: "It's going to be a truth-tell book... Everybody that's ever done anything good, it's going to be in there and anybody that's got bones in your closet, you better look out."
Capitol Police ups security after uncovering ‘possible plot’ by ‘militia group’
       
The Capitol Police is increasing security in an effort to thwart a potential attack Thursday by “an identified militia group,” the department revealed Wednesday. Scott ApplewhiteWednesday’s statement from the department also comes in the midst of weeks of congressional hearings into the Jan. 6 Capitol siege. Last week, Congress heard from the acting Capitol Police chief and the acting House sergeant-at-arms, as well as their predecessors who resigned in the wake of the riot. Members of the National Guard walk near the US Capitol Building on Capitol Hill on March 3, 2021. It is not clear what additional reinforcements the Capitol Police took up in the wake of the March 4 threat.
Capitol Police say intelligence shows militia group may be plotting to breach the Capitol
       
ADThe Capitol Police and the FBI have been criticized for not acting on intelligence supplied by the FBI’s Norfolk field office shortly before the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. We are always on alert for any potential threats.”The D.C. police declined to discuss their response to the potential threat. “In regards to public safety planning, MPD does not discuss operational tactics,” police spokeswoman Alaina Gertz said in an email. ADIn addition to the National Guard and increased police presence, the Capitol grounds have been surrounded by security fencing since the Jan. 6 insurrection. But after that briefing, members of Congress reacted negatively to the idea of maintaining expansive physical barriers to the Capitol.
Opinion | Democrats won’t gain anything from scaling back stimulus checks
       
Progressives wanted to do as much as possible, and moderates wanted to find ways to scale back the bill’s ambitions. ADADIt does mean, however, that some people who got stimulus checks from then-President Donald Trump won’t be getting them from Biden. (Republicans wanted the stimulus checks to be reduced even further, so you could argue that the final bill will have moved slightly in their direction, even if they won’t support it.) Cutting back the stimulus checks won’t make it any more so. And no senator would have been the victim of a vicious attack ad skewering them for allowing stimulus checks to phase out slightly more slowly for people in the middle- to upper-middle class.
McConnell blasts COVID relief bill as 'wildly out of proportion' with America's needs
       
The $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package passed by the House is "a wildly out-of-proportion response to where the country is at the moment," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told "The Story" Wednesday. "This $1.9 trillion bill is the same size of the bill we passed last April, right in the middle of the pandemic," McConnell told host Martha MacCallum. Only 9% of this $1.9 trillion is related to health care, and less than 1% of this $1.9T bill is related to vaccines." Despite his criticism, McConnell said he suspected the bill would narrowly pass the Senate, with moderate Democrat Sens. There's nobody [who's] going to come close to beating Lisa Murkowski when she runs for reelection next year."
Millions of U.S. households would not get COVID-19 payments under new Biden plan
       
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Millions of U.S. households who received coronavirus-relief payments under President Donald Trump would not get aid under a modified version of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion aid package announced on Wednesday, analysts said. That means nearly 9 million fewer households would get direct payments this time around, said Kyle Pomerleau, a tax analyst with the conservative American Enterprise Institute. The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy calculated that those payments now would help 11.8 million fewer adults and 4.6 million fewer children than the more generous version that passed the House. But 200 million adults and 80 million children would still see benefits, the left-leaning think tank estimated. Some 162 million households received payments under the first round of payments included in the CARES Act of 2020, according to the Internal Revenue Service.
New U.S. president will not undo Trump’s interference, Huawei CFO's lawyers say
       
Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou leaves her home to attend a court hearing in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada March 1, 2021. Trump’s alleged political interference and violation of her legal rights are cited by Meng’s lawyers as reasons her extradition case should be thrown out. Ten days after Meng’s arrest, then-President Trump told Reuters in an interview that he would intervene in the case to get a better trade deal with China. “Our contention is that his words amount to an abuse of process.”Canadian prosecutors have said Trump’s statements about Huawei and the trade deal are no longer relevant since he has left office and the deal has already been signed. “Nothing the ambassador can say now will dissuade me from understanding that is indeed the case,” he said.
Ron Klain has one of the busiest jobs in D.C. — and one of the most active Twitter feeds, too
       
Now, six weeks into the Biden administration, it’s not the president but his White House chief of staff, Ron Klain, whose online activity is generating the most intrigue in Washington. By comparison, White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted a total of only 43 times in the same 37-day stretch. Most of Klain’s tweets — about 40 percent — are retweets from journalists or news organizations who post about the work of the administration. So certainly what he’s projecting and communicating about is reflective of what we’re focused on internally day to day,” Psaki said. “We decided pretty early on we want people engaging on Twitter,” said Rob Flaherty, the White House digital director.
Creator of CPAC golden Trump statue admits it was made in China, after saying Mexico
       
Golden statue of former US president Donald Trump at CPAC (AFP via Getty)The golden Donald Trump statue that appeared at last week’s conference for the country’s conservatives was actually made in China — rather than Mexico — the creator reportedly admitted. Artist Tommy Zegan told reporters last week that the six foot statue of the former US president was assembled in Mexico — a country routinely belittled by Mr Trump. It immediately went viral after it was wheeled into the hall at the Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Florida, for last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), where Mr Trump delivered an address on Sunday. "Two years ago, when I saw all those statues of naked Trump and Trump on a toilet, I said, 'You know what? I can do better,' " Mr Zegan said.
Scaramucci says if GOP goes with Trump in 2024 he'll 'liquidate' the party
       
Anthony Scaramucci, managing partner of SkyBridge Capital and former White House communications director for the Trump administration, says if the Republican Party goes with Trump as its 2024 nominee, he'll work to make the GOP a "minority party for at least a generation." However, Scaramucci, who has publicly and repeatedly disavowed Trump, thinks Trump would be defeated once again if he's the nominee. What's more, if the Republican Party embraces "Trumpism," Scaramucci said there's a large working group exploring ideas on starting another party, with many willing participants ready to contribute money to make a third party viable. "I am not starting a new party," Trump said. Scaramucci, a life-long Republican, said Trump has turned the party into "a Trump personality cult" instead of a principle-based organization.
Opinion: Pence is out of office, but he’s still doing Trump’s dirty work
       
Last month I wrote about how former Vice President Mike Pence, while he may have been a potential target of the Jan 6. Pence abetted then-President Trump’s efforts to delegitimize the 2020 election, praising an ill-fated lawsuit filed by Texas in the Supreme Court seeking to overturn election results in four states. And the changes being pushed by Republican state legislators would make it harder for people (especially Democrats) to vote. To paraphrase Trump’s description of the death toll from COVID-19, Pence is what he is. Bloomberg News reports that Trump’s advisors have been discussing a female or Black running mate for Trump.
Ex-White House doctor made sexist comments, drank, took sleeping pills on duty: Report
       
The Department of Defense inspector general released a scathing report Wednesday on the conduct of Ronny Jackson, now a congressman from Texas, when he worked as a top White House physician. AdvertisementAfter interviewing 78 witnesses and reviewing a host of White House documents, investigators concluded that Jackson, who achieved the rank of rear admiral, failed to treat his subordinates with dignity and respect. The report also said the investigation into Jackson “was limited in scope and unproductive” as Trump’s White House counsel insisted on being present at all interviews, which had a “potential chilling effect” on the probe. And witnesses said Jackson took sleep medication on long overseas travel, which left subordinates worried that it could have left him incapacitated and unable to work. After allegations emerged that Jackson had created a hostile work environment and improperly distributed prescription drugs, the White House withdrew the nomination.
Guard commander details breakdowns that delayed troops as Capitol was attacked
       
The Pentagon had removed his authority to quickly deploy his troops, which also slowed the response to the riot, he said. Military officials had authorized Guard troop deployment at 3:04 p.m., according to the Pentagon, an approval that was itself delayed as officials there debated concerns about the optics of sending troops into the Capitol. He said he could have had 150 troops at the Capitol in 20 minutes. He also said that he believed that Pentagon officials’ concerns about optics were misguided and that forces needed to be quickly sent to the Capitol to help repel the rioters. Meanwhile, Capitol Police say they have uncovered intelligence of a “possible plot” by a militia group to breach the US Capitol on Thursday.
A better forecast for ‘climate tech’
       
Advertisement“Over the past decade, my biggest win was survival,” says Rob Day, a longtime investor in energy technologies who is based in Marblehead. But there’s a new wave of interest in what has been renamed “climate tech,” and lots of money is once again flowing. Bill Gates’s Breakthrough Energy Ventures in January committed an additional $1 billion to investing in startups that can reduce carbon emissions, and one of its top leaders, Carmichael Roberts, is based in Brookline. A decade ago, talking about developing new technologies that would impact the climate was “a bit of a third rail. “But if you’re looking to remove half a gigaton of carbon emissions a year, those kinds of technologies are probably getting deployed in multiple countries, on multiple continents.
House on the cusp of passing landmark voting rights, ethics bill
       
By Brian Slodysko and Lisa Mascaro | Associated PressWashington — House Democrats are poised to pass a sweeping elections and ethics bill, offering it up as a powerful counterweight to voting rights restrictions advancing in Republican-controlled statehouses across the country. This bill “will put a stop at the voter suppression that we’re seeing debated right now,” said Rep. Nikema Williams, a new congresswoman who represents the Georgia district that deceased voting rights champion John Lewis held for years. In Iowa, the legislature has voted to cut absentee and in-person early voting and prevent local elections officials from setting up additional locations to make early voting easier. It would limit states’ ability to purge registered voters from their rolls and mandate the restoration of former felons’ voting rights. Some Democrats have discussed options like lowering the threshold to break a filibuster, or creating a workaround that would allow priority legislation, including a separate John Lewis Voting Rights bill, to be exempt.
'Setbacks and success' in Andrew Cuomo's life
       
Cuomo’s cable TV briefings won an Emmy (probably the one honor Trump had craved most). Hardly anyone outside the right-wing media bubble paid attention. Now, the story is all over mainstream media. A scathing January report from New York State Attorney General Letitia James concluded the Cuomo administration undercounted deaths in long-term care by as much as 50%. Speaking of ironies: Cuomo’s previous book, published in 2014, was titled "All Things Possible: Setbacks and Success in Politics and Life."
Ex-White House doctor bullied colleagues and drank on the job, report finds
       
The unpublished report compiled by the defense department’s inspector general was first obtained by CNN, and includes testimony from 60 witnesses about Jackson’s behavior at work. He was later appointed physician to the president by former presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump until 2018. The new report from the Pentagon watchdog found that Jackson “disparaged, belittled, bullied and humiliated” more junior colleagues, including making “sexual and denigrating” comments about a female co-worker. In a statement, Jackson said the inspector general had resurrected “false allegations” because he had “refused to turn my back on President Trump”. Jackson’s office noted that Obama had promoted him to rear admiral “after the alleged events” outlined in the report.
Anger from Native American and animal rights groups as Wisconsin hunters kill 216 wolves
       
Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources ended its grey wolf hunting season early after hunters and trappers in the state killed 216 wolves over the weekend. Native American tribes in the area consider the wolves sacred, and usually use their allotment of hunting licenses to protect the wolf population, rather than killing them. Please enter your email address Please enter a valid email address Please enter a valid email address SIGN UP Thanks for signing up to the News newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. Read our privacy notice Thanks for signing up to the News newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. In 2020, the Trump administration removed the grey wolf from the Endangered Species List.
Capitol rioter who ‘hit cops with fire extinguisher’ bused to DC by Turning Points USA
       
A pro-Trump rioter involved in the storming of the US Capitol who allegedly hit police officers with a fire extinguisher travelled to Washington, DC on a bus organised by conservative group Turning Points USA (TPUSA). “This historic event will likely be one of the largest and most consequential in American history,” Mr Kirk wrote. Please enter your email address Please enter a valid email address Please enter a valid email address SIGN UP Thanks for signing up to the News newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. Read our privacy notice Thanks for signing up to the News newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. A judge ruled that Mr Sanford could be released before his trial with GPS monitoring of his whereabouts.
Texas lawmaker unveils plans for '1836 Project' to commemorate state's independence from Mexico
       
A Texas lawmaker has unveiled plans for a committee that would promote 'patriotic education' across the state's schools, parks and museums. Rep. Tan Parker is pressing for the 1836 Project - named after the year Texas achieved independence from Mexico - according to legislation filed Monday. The committee will focus on remembering the Texas War for Independence, the annexation of Texas by the US and Juneteenth. 'Many of our children are taught to denounce Texas history and do not understand what it means to be a virtuous citizen.' They will focus on the Texas War for Independence, the annexation of Texas by the US and Juneteenth, he saidSouth Dakota Gov.
Covid relief US: Joe Biden cuts off stimulus checks for those earning over $80k
       
President Joe Biden is 'comfortable' cutting off stimulus checks to Americans who make more than $80,000, the White House indicated Wednesday, bowing to pressure from Senate moderates. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are calling for recurring relief checks to be included in future relief packages. The House version of the bill, which passed early Saturday, also phased out stimulus checks, but had a higher ceiling. The two other series of stimulus checks have also been tailored by income. Both Biden and Trump supported stimulus checks.
Jim Jordan’s campaign faces questions over accounting discrepancies that exceed $100K
       
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Election Commission on Tuesday asked U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan’s campaign committee to explain large accounting discrepancies between reports it filed several years ago and corrected reports the committee filed earlier this year. Several March 2 letters from the FEC ask Jordan’s campaign to explain:* an increase in disbursements totaling $122,706.60 on its 2018 post-general election report. * a decrease in receipts totaling $111,950.54 on Jordan’s campaign finance report for the first quarter of 2019. “The campaign has filed an amendment with the FEC to correct its campaign finance reports going back to 2018,” said a statement from Jordan’s campaign manager, Kevin Eichinger. From 2019 through 2020, Jordan raised $18,637,140, spent $13,268,968 and finished with more than $6 million in the bank.
US warns of ‘possible’ plan to seize US Capitol on March 4
       
Plot is centred on QAnon belief Trump is true president and will assume office, but conspiracists warn of ‘false flag’. “The United States Capitol Police Department is aware of and prepared for any potential threats towards members of Congress or towards the Capitol complex,” the Capitol Police, a law enforcement agency tasked with protecting Capitol grounds, said in a release. “We have obtained intelligence that shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group on Thursday, March 4. — Julia E. Ainsley (@JuliaEAinsley) March 3, 2021The possible plot appears to be connected to a theory related to the far-right QAnon conspiracy movement. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene is known for her past support of aspects of the QAnon movement.
Mike Pence repeats claims of election fraud in op-ed against voting rights bill
       
The opinion piece is one of Pence’s first statements since leaving office amid a bitter feud with his longtime ally Trump. Pence never criticized Trump for putting his life in danger but he did break with him by attending Biden’s inauguration.
Israel suspects Iran connection to Mediterranean oil spill
       
A dog smells pieces of tar from an oil spill in the Mediterranean Sea, on a beach in the Gdor Nature Reserve near Michmoret, Israel, Monday, March 1, 2021. The cleanup from the disastrous oil spill that has blackened most of the country's shoreline is expected to take months. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)A dog smells pieces of tar from an oil spill in the Mediterranean Sea, on a beach in the Gdor Nature Reserve near Michmoret, Israel, Monday, March 1, 2021. The cleanup from the disastrous oil spill that has blackened most of the country's shoreline is expected to take months. Over 90% of Israel’s 195 kilometer (120-mile) Mediterranean coastline was covered in more than 1,000 tons of black tar, the result of the mysterious oil spill in international waters.
Biden’s Bare-Minimum Response to Russia’s Attempted Navalny Assassination
       
On Tuesday, the Biden Administration announced a set of sanctions against Russia, in response to its attempted assassination, this past August, of the opposition politician Alexey Navalny with a nerve agent. The sanctions were at once more than any U.S. Administration had done and less than would seem rational or proportionate if viewed purely as a response to an attempted murder. Those it did include have all previously been sanctioned by the European Union: five were listed in the fall, in response to Navalny’s poisoning, and two were sanctioned last week, in response to Navalny’s arrest and imprisonment upon returning to Moscow. And we’re neither seeking to reset our relations with Russia, nor are we seeking to escalate.”But what is the Administration seeking to do? Morally, the Biden Administration had to act, because the President ran on the promise of being tough on Russia.
Is the Vatican Finally Ready to Get Serious About Women in the Church?
       
In the early nineteen-sixties, the order was thriving, as women educated by the I.H.M.s, as the sisters were known, became I.H.M.s themselves. In 1970, there were a hundred and sixty thousand consecrated Catholic women in the U.S. Today, there are forty thousand, and their average age is almost eighty. While Pope Francis and his subordinates in the Curia tussle over the fine points of Vatican reform, a cohort of American Catholic nuns is dying. They are laughably out of step with the accomplished roles of Catholic women in secular American society—two Supreme Court Justices, a House Majority Leader, and an Inaugural poet among them. One area of the Vatican where women are prominently represented is in the diplomatic corps, and Joe Biden, the second Catholic President, ought to appoint a woman as U.S.
Watchdog finds G.O.P. congressman harassed staff and recklessly drank while serving as White House physician.
       
The report, which was obtained by The New York Times, shed light on a number of rumors that had dogged Dr. Jackson beginning in 2018, after former President Donald J. Trump nominated him to lead the Veterans Affairs Department. After allegations emerged that Dr. Jackson had improperly distributed prescription drugs, created a hostile work environment, and had problems with drinking, the White House withdrew his nomination. Dr. Jackson went on to win a crowded Republican primary race to represent a district in northern Texas and was elected to Congress in 2020. The 37-page report, first described by CNN, painted a picture of a physician who engaged in reckless and sometimes threatening behavior, creating an uncomfortable environment for subordinates. A majority of the 60 witnesses interviewed by investigators said that Dr. Jackson had created a negative work environment, and nearly all of them said they had either personally witnessed, experienced or heard from colleagues about Dr. Jackson “screaming, cursing or belittling subordinates.”
Live Updates: Narrower Income Limits for Stimulus Checks Win Biden’s Approval
       
michael barbaro From “The New York Times,” I’m Michael Barbaro. michael barbaro OK, and in terms of size and scale, how does this package number three stack up against the first two? jim tankersley You get aid to state and local governments, who have had to lay off a lot of workers. michael barbaro So this is non-traditional stimulus, but stimulus uniquely suited to a pandemic recession? michael barbaro Jim, this is a pretty historic thing to pass on a party line vote, $1.9 trillion in economic stimulus.
Kayleigh McEnany Talks White House Handoff to Jen Psaki, Who Reacts to McEnany’s New Fox News Job
       
"I wish her all the best," the former Trump White House press secretary said of her successorDespite their political differences, there's no bad blood between former and current White House press secretaries Kayleigh McEnany and Jen Psaki, they both say. "I left her a note saying that much," said McEnany, who served as President Donald Trump's White House spokeswoman and regularly made headlines for sparring with reporters. "We've met previously one time," McEnany said, "and she [Psaki] was very kind and so were some of her colleagues in the press shop." In the White House briefing room Tuesday, a reporter mentioned the news of McEnany's hiring at Fox News to Psaki, asking if she would be willing to sit with the former press secretary for an interview. I met her when we were both CNN contributors, and we did a few shows — I'm not sure how many — together."
Anti-Trump Republicans are facing punishment at home. But don't call it a civil war.
       
Anti-Trump Republicans are facing punishment at home. But don't call it a civil war. Added: 03.03.2021 21:18 | 6 views | 0 comments“The only division is between a handful of Washington, D.C., establishment political hacks and everybody else all over the country," Trump said Sunday.
Drug Pitched to Trump for Covid-19 Comes From a Deadly Plant
       
Drug Pitched to Trump for Covid-19 Comes From a Deadly PlantAdded: 20.08.2020 20:10 | 12 views | 0 commentsSource: www.youtube.comThe chief executive of My Pillow, a Trump donor, claims oleandrin is a miracle cure for Covid-19. But no studies have shown that it is safe or effective, and the shrub it’s derived from is poisonous. More in www.nytimes.com »
Republicans condemned Trump after the Capitol attack. Now they are opening the door to him as the future of the party.
       
Republicans condemned Trump after the Capitol attack. Now they are opening the door to him as the future of the party.
Tim Allen says he 'kind of liked' when President Trump made people angry
       
Tim Allen says he 'kind of liked' when President Trump made people angryAdded: 03.03.2021 18:27 | 11 views | 0 commentsTim Allen got political on a podcast, saying he "realized" he "kind of liked" when President Trump pissed people off.
PPP Loans Are Supposed to Be Tax Free. These 19 States Didn't Get the Memo
       
Right now, 19 states tax forgiven PPP loans, either by including them as taxable income or disallowing deductions for business expenses made with the loans, says Katherine Loughead, senior policy analyst for the Tax Foundation, which has published a map showing the loans' tax status by state. Legislatures in at least seven of the 19 states in question--Arizona, Arkansas, Hawaii, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Virginia--have introduced bills to exclude PPP loans from taxation. And it's hard to compare the impact with past years, since PPP loans are new. But second-draw PPP loans in Wisconsin are expected to be taxed, says Irina Petrashkevich, senior manager for tax policy and advocacy for the American Institute of CPAs. There, PPP loans are fully tax-free for corporations, but taxable for individuals--even though the PPP targets the smallest businesses, in addition to those with up to 500 employees.
TikTok Played a Key Role in MAGA Radicalization
       
Several key features distinguish TikTok from almost every other social platform. The effect is similar to YouTube’s much maligned recommendation algorithm, which notoriously leads users to more and more extreme content. From the minute you enter the platform, you’re riding through the wormhole. What makes a TikTok video more potent than a hyperpartisan meme shared on Facebook or a retweeted #MAGA slogan? When you make a video on the platform, you’re staring at a mirror image of yourself.
D.C. Guard chief says ‘unusual’ restrictions slowed deployment of backup during Capitol riot
       
Walker described the Pentagon’s restrictions as “unusual,” noting that he did not have such limitations last summer, when the D.C. Guard was tasked with responding to local racial-justice protests after the killing of George Floyd. Much of the hearing focused on how long it took the Pentagon to give the members of the D.C. Guard who were already deployed that day a new mission and send them to the Capitol. Though the acting defense secretary called up the full D.C. Guard shortly after 3 p.m. in response to the riot, he did not give the members of the D.C. Guard who were already deployed that day a new mission and send them to the Capitol until 4:32 p.m., Salesses said. He acknowledged, however, that the D.C. Guard did not receive that change in assignment until 5:08 p.m., more than half an hour later. In addition to congressional inquiries, the inspectors general of several federal agencies are investigating officials’ response.
How QAnon conspiracies took over one mom's life: 'It made me emotionally unavailable'
       
"I didn't know that it was QAnon. I didn't know any of that, but it started on TikTok." Vanderbilt told "The View" that she prepared for the possible blackout by stocking up on groceries and filling up her car's gas tank. In August 2020, Trump made comments on QAnon’s conspiracy theory featuring him as its savior. In hindsight, Vanderbilt offered a message to those who still follow the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Capitol Police officials say intel on possible March 4 plot being taken 'seriously'
       
The intelligence, which an FBI bulletin said could involve the "Three Percenters" group, which prosecutors call extremist, is being taken "seriously," the Capitol Police officials said in a statement posted on Twitter. The Capitol complex remains surrounded with temporary fencing topped with razor wire and some 5,000 National Guard troops remain on site. An internal U.S. Capitol Police bulletin distributed Tuesday contains information about a possible militia plot to storm the Capitol on or around March 4, sources told ABC News. An FBI spokesperson did not immediately comment on the intelligence information. One law enforcement source said that initial intelligence does not support a crowd of 50,000 is coming to Washington, D.C., this week.
How Likely Are Golden Globe Winners to Win Oscars Anyway?
       
After all, a big part of why the Golden Globes became the Golden Globes is because they’ve been historically seen as a prescient bellwether for the subsequent Academy Awards. In other words, juuuust under half of all Globe winners — 49.8 percent to be exact — will go on to win the Oscar. Of the last 30 Best Actress Oscar winners, 27 won the Globe. All that said, if there were ever a year that a bunch of cool, unlikely Golden Globe winners could ride that momentum to Oscar wins, it’d be this year. Recent history says a Golden Globe is worth a 50/50 shot at an Academy Award.
5 International College Students on Studying in America During the Pandemic
       
Photo: martin-dm/Getty ImagesOne year ago, droves of U.S. college students were ordered to abandon their dorms and campuses and return home. Amid the chaos, many international students found themselves in an unprecedented situation, forced to choose between the college experience they’d expected and their home country. We talked to five international students who were forced to learn just how big the world can really feel. The pandemic put a lot of things into perspective for me, especially the fragility of my parents getting older. Now I am back at school in America, but my family is still in full lockdown at home.
David Shor’s (Updated) 2020 Autopsy and 2022 Forecast
       
Do you have any sense what was behind the large rightward shift among Hispanic voters? In the summer, following the emergence of “defund the police” as a nationally salient issue, support for Biden among Hispanic voters declined. I’m not claiming that white liberals are somehow less racist than people of color, to the extent that question even makes sense. I mean, Hispanic voters are more liberal on immigration than white voters. If you look at, for example, decriminalizing border crossings, that’s not something that a majority of Hispanic voters support.
Zero COVID Risk Is the Wrong Standard
       
Many teachers unions have insisted, in contradiction to the CDC’s official guidance, that schools should be reopened only when all teachers are vaccinated, and in some cases not even then. A classic example is the wave of media shaming of people who visited beaches last year, even though the risk of spread is tiny. The same tendency has caused them to overstate the risk that vaccinated people can transmit the virus and understate the protections vaccines offer. Under any sane calculation, whether school poses a small risk or an extremely small risk hardly matters, because the alternative is a social catastrophe that dwarfs any public health effect. That school districts are parsing the precise contours of the risk now is a testament to the power of Zeroism.
The GOP’s Establishment Is More Populist Than Its Trumpists
       
Photo: Alex Wong/Getty ImagesDonald Trump is gone from D.C., but the divisions he sowed among congressional Republicans remain. “It’s important that we not be a personality-based party,” Senate Minority Whip John Thune told Politico this week. As congressman Jim Jordan, the Platonic ideal of a Trump apostle, tweeted last month, “The Republican Party is no longer the ‘wine and cheese’ party. To the contrary, the Congressional Republicans most worshipful of Trump also tend to be among the most orthodox in their economic views. Graphic: Brookings Institute/The Washington PostTo be sure, no GOP senators support a $15 minimum wage either.
A Running List of the Allegations Against Madison Cawthorn
       
In August, Krulikas posted on Instagram about an incident that took place in 2014, when Cawthorn was 19 and she was 17. The two had agreed to go on a date, and Cawthorn drove them to a secluded spot in the woods. According to her account, they sat around a bonfire, and soon, Cawthorn started talking about sex, which made Krulikas uncomfortable. Cawthorn would take young women to secluded areas, lock the doors, and proceed to make unwanted sexual advances,” the letter read. “Seeing the Eagles Nest has been on my bucket list for awhile, it did not disappoint,” Cawthorn wrote.
Ronny Jackson Harassed Staff, Drank on Duty As White House Doctor, Report Finds
       
The retired Navy rear admiral served as physician to the president from 2013 to 2018 under former presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump. He previously worked in the White House Medical Unit under former president George W. Bush. A major aspect of the report was focused on how Jackson treated subordinates under his leadership. The claims included drunkenness while on duty, overprescribing medications, and promoting a hostile work environment. Jackson was elected to Congress in 2020 after winning a runoff election in the Republican primary and defeating his Democratic challenger in the general.
Mike Pence’s Blueprint for Permanent Authoritarian Rule
       
Pence doesn’t acknowledge any error made by Trump or even concede that he legitimately lost the election. A “substantive discussion in Congress about election integrity” — i.e., another forum to repeat Trump’s lie about the election being stolen. Pence proceeds to argue that all changes to election law must be carried out at the state level. This conveniently means the changes will be designed by Republican officials rather than by Democrats, who control Congress. And now Pence seeks to lead them into a future in which minority rule can be locked in forever.
Democrats Are Pathologically Short-Changing America
       
Then, the number shrunk: $2,000 was actually $1,400, because Trump had already given us $600. On Wednesday, Biden agreed to further narrow the eligibility for stimulus payments under the coronavirus relief bill that has been bouncing around the House and Senate bureaucracies since before he took office. The new change is relatively simple: Biden wants to lower the income threshold that triggers diminishing returns on the stimulus payments. But people who make upwards of $100,000 a year, however, would only get partial payments on a sliding scale. Who actually wants this?
We Don’t Need Andrew Cuomo
       
No amount of smoothing or spin can overshadow the indelible photograph published in the New York Times on Monday night: Governor Andrew Cuomo, red-faced and leering, clutching the face of a woman half his age at a wedding while she recoils in disgust. What should come next for Andrew Cuomo is a swift resignation, followed by a statewide investigation. In Cuomo tradition, the governor denied these aspirations; his father Mario also declined to seek the nomination in 1992. The truth, of course, was that Cuomo’s leadership, respectability, and strength was a veneer. Unlike the servers and bartenders he briefly barred from vaccination eligibility, Andrew Cuomo is not an essential worker.
SUV in deadly wreck came through hole in border fence
       
Gregory Bovino, the Border Patrol’s El Centro sector chief, told the Associated Press that surveillance footage taken before the early Tuesday wreck captured a Ford Expedition and Chevrolet Suburban drive through the breached fence. All those inside escaped and were taken into custody by Border Patrol agents. The 1997 red Ford Expedition, which was jammed with 25 people, continued traveling before it was T-boned by a semi-truck hauling gravel a short time later, killing 13 inside. The opening in the border fence that the vehicles rolled through was about 30 miles east of the crash scene. Gregory Bull/APA California Highway Patrol report said the Expedition entered an intersection right in front of the big rig, which hit the left side of the SUV.
Senators grill Biden nominee as proxy for wider Iran-deal debate
       
The debate comes as the Biden administration’s diplomacy on Iran has stalled. Meanwhile, U.S. personnel in Iraq have continued to come under rocket fire by militia groups, some of which have ties to Iran. “I remain clear-eyed about the threat that Iran poses to our interests and those of our allies,” Sherman said. ADSen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) probed Sherman on any contacts she had with Iranian officials during the Trump administration. ADThe decision by Sherman and other Biden officials to pledge to get a better deal, rather than defending the Obama accord on its own merits, has frustrated some on the left.
Opinion | ‘Big Lie’ promoter Kayleigh McEnany lands at Fox News, naturally
       
In her debut interview as a Fox News contributor, McEnany issued a lament about the criticisms that had come her way. ADADFor someone who bristles at being called a liar, perhaps McEnany should have thought twice before promoting the Big Lie. With its McEnany move, Fox News not only is overlooking McEnany’s Big Lie participation; it is also rewarding her with a job. ADADIn her interview with McEnany, Faulkner asked whether she thought Trump was responsible for the Capitol riots. But that’s what you get with McEnany: small dishonesties punctuated by the occasional Big Lie.
Of course Fox News would rather talk about Dr. Seuss and Mr. Potato Head
       
The decision by the estate of children’s book author Dr. Seuss to stop publishing six of his books due to the racist images they included. That story, which Fox News framed as Seuss having been “canceled,” was mentioned by the network more than 60 times. Instead, Trump just promised more of what won him the Republican nomination four years before: more broad placement of “America first” and more bashing of the left. Trump voters were consistently more likely to express concern about the diminished status and power of Whites in America. One study showed that concern about Whites losing out was a much better predictor of Trump support than economic insecurity.
Kayleigh McEnany talks undergoing double mastectomy, potential run for office
       
Former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany shared the story behind her "very tough" decision to have a double mastectomy in an exclusive interview on "The Faulkner Focus" Wednesday. The prognosis led her to undergo a preventative double mastectomy in 2018. "My mom got a double mastectomy ... it was a hard path, and it's one I knew I wanted to go down to keep myself from ever getting cancer," McEnany expressed. McEnany added that her decision was several years in the making and her husband, Sean Gilmartin, supported her unconditionally. FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY KAYLEIGH MCENANY JOINS FOX NEWS FAMILYSince McEnany shared her story at the Republican National Convention in 2020, multiple women have reached out to her about her inspirational story.
McConnell blames Biden’s ‘sweeping left-wing amnesty plan' for fueling border surge
       
Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday blamed President Biden’s "sweeping left-wing amnesty plan" for fueling the escalating migrant crisis on the southern border -- and said it sidelined the interests of American workers. "Just six weeks into unified Democratic government, we already have another crisis brewing on our southern border," McConnell said on the Senate floor. He said instead that the Department of Homeland Security is working to "replace the cruelty" of the Trump administration with "an orderly humane and safe immigration process." The big backdrop behind this whole discussion is the sweeping left-wing amnesty plan that the Biden Administration unveiled before they were even sworn in," McConnell said. TRUMP USES CPAC SPEECH TO TEAR INTO BIDEN ON BORDER CRISIS"It’s not fair to American citizens and workers," he said.
D.C. National Guard chief: Pentagon took 3 hours to greenlight troops during Capitol assault
       
"The approval for Chief Sund's request would eventually come from the acting secretary of defense and be relayed to me by Army senior leaders at 5:08 p.m. — 3 hours and 19 minutes later," he said. Not 'good optics'National Guard Troops walk along the East plaza of the U.S. Capitol Building with the dome of the Capitol in the background on Monday, Feb. 8, 2021 in Washington, DC. Ultimately, once D.C. National Guard troops arrived that evening, they helped re-establish the security perimeter on the east side of the Capitol to allow for the joint session of Congress resume in counting the Electoral College votes, he said. DC National Guard troops stand watch at the U.S. Capitol on January 08, 2021 in Washington, DC. Salesses said in his opening remarks that Miller "ordered the full mobilization" of the D.C. National Guard at 3:04 p.m.
Pentagon Report Finds Ex-W.H. Doc Rep. Jackson Bullied Staff, Made Sexual Remarks
       
NEW YORK (AP) — The Department of Defense inspector general released a scathing report Wednesday on the conduct of Ronny Jackson, now a congressman from Texas, when he worked as a top White House physician. The report also said the investigation into Jackson “was limited in scope and unproductive” as Trump’s White House counsel insisted on being present at all interviews, which had a “potential chilling effect” on the probe. And witnesses said Jackson took sleep medication on long overseas travel, which left subordinates worried that it could have left him incapacitated and unable to work. After allegations emerged that Jackson had created a hostile work environment and improperly distributed prescription drugs, the White House withdrew the nomination. Jackson was well liked by most members of the Obama and Trump staffs and grew close to both presidents.
Austin wants to pivot to China. But can he pay for it?
       
In addition to briefing Austin and Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks, Davidson met with other top officials and the new China task force, the person said. Lawmakers, who have been calling for a beefed up military presence in the region to deter China, like what they see so far. "I don't accept the premise that we have to spend more money on the military to adequately deter China." Like his predecessors, Austin will be challenged to turn the doctrinal shift into a boost for resources in the region. “I doubt we will see any major cuts in acquisition programs in this first budget request, but you never know.
Pentagon probe slams ex-White House Dr. Jackson’s behavior
       
FILE - In this Jan. 16, 2018, file photo, then-White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson speaks to reporters during the daily press briefing at the White House, in Washington. The Department of Defense inspector general has released a scathing report on the conduct of Ronny Jackson, now a congressman from Texas, when he worked as a top White House physician. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)FILE - In this Jan. 16, 2018, file photo, then-White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson speaks to reporters during the daily press briefing at the White House, in Washington. The Department of Defense inspector general has released a scathing report on the conduct of Ronny Jackson, now a congressman from Texas, when he worked as a top White House physician. After allegations emerged that Jackson had created a hostile work environment and improperly distributed prescription drugs, the White House withdrew the nomination.
The most important thing FBI Director Chris Wray didn't tell the Senate
       
On Tuesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify about the Jan. 6 attacks on the U.S. Capitol. Let’s start with four key takeaways from Wray’s testimony. In reality, many people who commit acts of domestic terrorism are fueled by hate, not politics. Whatever the reason, here’s what Wray didn’t say: The act of domestic terrorism at the Capitol wasn’t a mysterious occurrence of spontaneous combustion. But until we name, shame and bring lawful accountability to Trump and his congressional co-conspirators, our domestic terrorism problem will remain, fester and possibly become even worse.
Jim Jordan Under Scrutiny for Nearly $3 Million in Unreported Campaign Funds
       
“The campaign has filed an amendment with the FEC to correct its campaign finance reports going back to 2018. In the 2016 cycle, before Donald Trump was elected, the Jordan campaign received a little over $733,000 and spent about $423,000, according to FEC records. But in 2020, they soared: he raked in $18.6 million and spent $13.2 million, and now sits on a $6 million stash. “FEC reports carry-forward financial information to subsequent reports,” he said. “The lack of a quorum of commissioners until the end of last year meant that FEC enforcement had stalled.
Biden response to report on Khashoggi killing angers both Saudi Arabia and its critics
       
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia. (Mikhail Klimentyev / Sputnik )Throughout his campaign, President Biden vowed to take a harder line with Saudi Arabia. "It is undeniable that Saudi Arabia is a hugely influential country in the Arab world and beyond," Price told reporters Monday. In Crown Prince Mohammed, the Biden administration is dealing with a figure who began stirring up controversy even before Khashoggi's assassination. Saudi Arabia maintains that Tiger Squad operatives acted beyond their orders; eight of 11 suspects have been sentenced to jail time or death.
Parler sues Amazon again, this time in Washington state
       
Parler may have voluntarily withdrawn its federal lawsuit against Amazon , but the company isn’t ready to give up its legal battle just yet. On the same day it dropped that previous suit, the company filed a new one against Amazon in a Washington state court, according to The Verge. Parler says it wouldn’t have signed up with Amazon if that provision hadn’t been in place. “Getting 30 days either to cure or find another host is absolutely essentially [sic] to avoid millions of dollars in damages and potentially irreparable harm.” It also alleges Amazon “tried to justify the repudiation based on allegations against Parler that it “knew were false.”Suit claims before AWS soured on Parler, Amazon knew Trump was considering joining Parler and that AWS was interesting in financing Parler as part of a "program for startups with high potential." — Bobby Allyn (@BobbyAllyn) March 3, 2021An Amazon Web Services spokesperson dismissed the lawsuit as meritless.
QAnon and conspiracy theories are taking hold in churches. Pastors are fighting back
       
Signers of letter, called "Say No To Christian Nationalism," included Jerushah Duford, the granddaughter of the late Rev. "We've seen that those who embrace Christian nationalism are also more likely to believe in conspiracies." For some pastors, church climates in the last year have become too much to bear. Swieringa recently got a new part-time job pastoring at Kibbie Christian Reformed Church in South Haven, Mich., where masks are mandatory. But he noticed that the concerns about sex trafficking were more specific to a QAnon belief in "Democrat pedophilia."
More than 200,000 sign up for ACA health plan during extended period
       
AdvertisementOrdinarily, the ACA insurance marketplace is open mainly during an annual enrollment season — a six-week period near the end of the year during the Trump administration. Days after he was sworn into office in January, Biden directed health officials to reopen the federal online insurance marketplace until mid-May. Among other things, the package would increase subsidies — received by nearly 9 in 10 people who have ACA health plans — to help pay monthly insurance premiums. The insurance sold through federal and state ACA marketplaces is intended for Americans who cannot get affordable health benefits through a job. This week, health officials announced they were giving the navigators a relatively small extra amount, $2.3 million, for the rest of the extended sign-up time.
AP exclusive: SUV in crash came through hole in border fence in Southern California
       
Elliot SpagatAssociated PressThirteen people killed in one of the deadliest border crashes on record were among 44 people who entered the U.S. through a hole cut into Southern California's border fence with Mexico, the Border Patrol said on Wednesday. The Suburban carried 19 people, and it caught fire after entering the U.S. All escaped the vehicle and were taken into custody by Border Patrol agents. The Border Patrol said its agents were not pursuing the vehicle before the crash. A California Highway Patrol report said the SUV entered an intersection directly in front of the big rig, which hit the left side of the SUV. The speed limit for tractor-trailers on the highway is 55 mph , according to California Highway Patrol Officer Jake Sanchez.
Why we publish editorials: An independent voice for Wisconsin helps hold the powerful to account
       
RELATED:Meet the Editorial Board of the USA TODAY NETWORK-WisconsinIn each case, we published editorials to promote discussion, encourage sound public policies and hold powerful politicians to account. We have no set schedule but write editorials as issues arise. The Ideas Lab is where we showcase our editorials, solutions-focused stories, and expert commentary and analysis on public policy. The Ideas Lab also publishes stories that offer additional context and insight to the news of the day. As always, if you have any questions about our editorials, the Ideas Lab — or anything else — please get in touch.
Palm Beach mansion owned by Trump family lands on market for $49M
       
But perhaps the red-hot housing market in Palm Beach was just too tempting for the Trumps to sit on the sidelines. The listing also follows a January report that the bank that financed the brothers’ purchase in 2018 has decided not to do business with the Trump family any longer.
Right-wing friendly Parler again sues Amazon
       
Associated PressSeattle – Parler, the right-wing friendly social network that was forced offline after supporters of then-President Donald Trump attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, has filed a new lawsuit against Amazon. Amazon Web Services (AWS), the Seattle tech giant’s cloud-computing division, stopped working with Parler in January over what Amazon said was Parler’s inability to moderate violent content of the kind that spurred supporters of Trump. Its original lawsuit, filed in January in Seattle’s federal district court, was billed primarily as an antitrust action, accusing Amazon of collaborating with Twitter to sink Parler’s business. Parler voluntarily dismissed that suit late Tuesday, an hour before a court-imposed deadline to file an amended complaint in the case. Parler has also argued in its new suit that the problematic content Amazon presented as a rationale for taking it off the web represented only a fraction of all posts and comments on Parler.
Right-wing friendly Parler again sues Amazon
       
SEATTLE (AP) — Parler, the right-wing friendly social network that was forced offline after supporters of then-President Donald Trump attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, has filed a new lawsuit against Amazon. Amazon Web Services (AWS), the Seattle tech giant’s cloud-computing division, stopped working with Parler in January over what Amazon said was Parler’s inability to moderate violent content of the kind that spurred supporters of Trump. Parler went back online online two weeks ago, hosted by SkySilk, a Los Angeles-based cloud-computing outfit. The Seattle Times reports that Parler’s new lawsuit, filed late Tuesday in King County Superior Court, alleges a host of contractual offenses, as well as deceptive and unfair trade practices and defamation.
Capitol riot probe zeroes in on Pentagon delay in sending troops
       
“Consequently, at 5:20pm (in under 20 minutes) the District of Columbia National Guard arrived at the Capitol,” Walker said. Mobilizing a large force of guard troops in a few hours amounts to lightning quickness in military terms, he emphasized. In his testimony, agreed with Capitol security officials that Pentagon leaders gave a tepid response to urgent pleas for aid during a 2:30 p.m. call on Jan. 6. Other officials who testified addressed the intelligence assessment that led Capitol security officials to dismiss the need for preemptive National Guard support. Never, those former Capitol security officials said, did they anticipate an organized, coordinated assault on the legislative branch that would overwhelm the 1,200 officers on-site and result in a breach of the building.
Stephen Miller says undocumented migrants pose as teenagers to get into US high schools
       
Donald Trump’s former senior adviser Stephen Miller has claimed that some adult undocumented immigrants are posing as teenagers and attending US high schools. Mr Miller spearheaded the former president’s immigration policies, such as child separation, which have been branded “cruel” by the new Biden administration. “You know what, some of those adults are going to end up in high schools around America – if they are open at all – pretending to be minors. Please enter your email address Please enter a valid email address Please enter a valid email address SIGN UP Thanks for signing up to the Inside Washington newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. Read our privacy notice Thanks for signing up to the Inside Washington newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent.
How police are warding off threats from QAnon and militias threatening violence on 4 March
       
Please enter your email address Please enter a valid email address Please enter a valid email address SIGN UP Thanks for signing up to the Inside Washington newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. Read our privacy notice Thanks for signing up to the Inside Washington newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. Mr Trump’s supporters have referred to 4 March as “true Inauguration Day”, according to an internal security bulletin from Tuesday from from House Sergeant at Arms Timothy Blodgett, obtained by CBS News and other outlets. That security bulletin names a far-right militia, the “Three Percenters,” as posing a threat. The Democratic congressional aide suggested to The Independent that it’s no accident the SAA’s bulletin has leaked to the press.
Parler drops case against Amazon for pushing it offline and files new suit, claiming defamation
       
Parler has dropped its antitrust lawsuit against Amazon for cutting off its web-hosting services but files a new case accusing the tech giant of defamation and breach of contract. At the time, Amazon said Parler had failed to adequately moderate content related to the attack, including calls to assassinate prominent Democratic politicians. The same day, Parler filed another suit against Amazon, accusing the Jeff Bezos-owned company of breach of contract and defamation, according to Fox Business. Parler also said Amazon never raised any concern over its content in the two years before it was ousted from its web-hosting services. Parler's domain name is now registered with Epik Inc., a website services company based in Sammamish, Washington, according to public records made available by internet regulator Icann.
Terry Glavin: Canada stands by gawping while a travesty unfolds in Afghanistan
       
It has not brought peace to Afghanistan and it will not bring peace to Afghanistan. Advertisement Story continues below This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below. It’s been nearly two years since Justin Trudeau announced that Canada would appoint its first ambassador for women, peace and security. “I’m getting zero response.”Advertisement Story continues below This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below. Canada could appoint a special envoy to act as an observer at the talks with a mandate to uphold UN Security Council commitments to engage Afghan women in peace and security efforts.
Democrats Have Decided to Send Checks to Fewer People for No Actual Good Reason
       
After being badgered to death by moderate Senate Democrats, the Biden administration has agreed to put stricter limits on who will be eligible for a relief check as part of its big COVID recovery bill. On Wednesday, Democrats said they would phase down the checks more quickly for higher earners than originally planned. Married couples who file jointly will still receive their entire check if they make up to $150,000. But payments will fall to zilch for those earning more than $160,000, down from the previous threshold of $200,000. Unsurprisingly, progressive Democrats are not pleased about this (just check any Hill reporter’s mentions right now).
Congress renews gun safety push with background check bills
       
The bills introduced Tuesday in the House and Senate would extend current federal background check requirements to transactions conducted by unlicensed and private sellers. The gun safety group Giffords estimates that 22% of U.S. gun owners purchased their last firearm without completing a background check. Polling shows that more than 90% of Americans support a universal background check system. Last month, to mark the third anniversary of the Parkland shooting, Biden called for the passage of “common sense” gun safety laws. He cited a background checks bill among his top priorities.
Covid-19 Live Updates: Biden Calls States’ Moves to Ease Virus Rules ‘Neanderthal Thinking’
       
It goes vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine. I’m old enough to get it, and I’m smart enough to get it.” She also broke into song (naturally), replacing the word “Jolene” in one of her best-known choruses with “vaccine.” “Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine,” she sang, embellishing the last one with her trademark Tennessee lilt. “I’m begging of you please don’t hesitate.” “Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine,” she added, “because once you’re dead, then that’s a bit too late.” Just before the doctor arrived to inoculate her — or “pop me in my arm,” as she put it — she doubled down on her message. He thanked Merck and Johnson & Johnson for “stepping up and being good corporate citizens during this crisis.” Noah Weiland contributed reporting. “We’ll reserve as much as we can for that," Mr. de Blasio said of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Pentagon report: Rep. Ronny Jackson harassed staff, used alcohol on duty
       
WASHINGTON - The Pentagon has released a biting report of the conduct of Texas Republican Rep. Ronny Jackson during his tenure as White House physician in the Trump administration. The Defense Department inspector general, who released the report, said Jackson made "sexual and denigrating statements about one of his female medical subordinates to another of his subordinates." He served in the White House Medical Unit under both Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush before being elevated to the top medical position by Obama in 2013. In 2011, he was promoted to director of the White House Medical Unit. Two years later, Jackson became physician to the president in the Obama White House.
Capitol riot could serve as inspiration for terrorism: experts
       
The successful breach of the Capitol on the Jan. 6 siege could serve as inspiration for terrorists, a group of national security officials testifying before the Senate Wednesday agreed. “We do assess that the breach on the Capitol could inspire others to act,” Smislova told the Senate. A group of national security officials testifying before the Senate Wednesday agreed that the successful breach of the Capitol on the Jan. 6 siege could serve as inspiration for terrorists. Last week, Congress heard from the acting Capitol Police chief and the acting House sergeant-at-arms, as well as their predecessors who resigned in the wake of the riot. During the acting officials’ testimony, acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman revealed that intelligence agencies have uncovered threats from far-right extremists to “blow up” the US Capitol when Biden delivers his first joint address to both houses of Congress.
Pastor slammed for telling wives to ‘lose weight,’ look less ‘butch’
       
A Baptist minister who came under fire for telling married women to “lose weight” and look less “butch” to please their husbands is now eating his words — and temporarily stepping aside. Pastor Stewart-Allen Clark of 1st General Baptist Church in Malden, Missouri, delivered an enthusiastic sermon on Sunday, which included advice specifically for the wives in his congregation. “Why is it so many times that women, after they get married, let themselves go?” he questioned. “Now, look, I’m not saying every woman can be the epic, the epic trophy wife of all time, like Melania Trump — I’m not saying that at all,” the pudgy pastor continued. Meanwhile, 1st General has since discontinued their social-media presence, removing all past content as well as their direct contact details.
‘Tiger King’ Joe Exotic hires new legal team to file for fresh trial
       
Joe Exotic has hired a legal team that once worked the missing-husband case of his key rival, Carole Baskin — and they plan to use unaired footage from “Tiger King” to push for a new trial. Disappointed after failing to get a pardon from President Donald Trump, the reality star — whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage — confirmed Tuesday that he had hired Phillips & Hunt. “We are honored to announce that Joe has retained our firm,” his new attorney, John Phillips, said Tuesday in a video shared by the official Joe Exotic Twitter page. “We’re going to seek a new trial, and justice in the criminal and civil courts,” Philips said after flying to visit Maldonado-Passage at Fort Worth’s Federal Medical Center. “I became familiar with all things ‘Tiger King.’ For sure, I know there is material in there that will help him out,” Phillips said, without teasing possible revelations.
U.S. contractor dies as rocket attacks in Iraq pose fresh challenge to Biden
       
While similar rocket attacks have routinely been claimed by or blamed on Iran-backed militia groups, Washington is trying to blunt the tensions that soared between Washington and Tehran during President Donald Trump’s years in office. But we’re identifying who’s responsible, and we’ll make judgments from that point.”Western officials point to Biden’s response to rocket attacks on U.S. service personnel in Iraq last week as a case in point. ADADRecent attacks on U.S.-linked bases have been claimed by splinter groups that have announced themselves since the deaths of Soleimani and Muhandis. Although U.S. officials say that those groups are backed by Iran, the extent of Tehran’s control over individual attacks remains unclear. As night fell Wednesday, there was no claim of responsibility for the latest rocket attacks.
Opinion | The government can’t fix this country’s polluted media
       
It did, however, elicit two contributions to the public’s understanding of more than Pallone’s and Doyle’s status as virtuosos of situational ethics. “This,” Turley said, “is the essence of a state media model. The downside of this is that bad actors can exploit the capabilities of digital media faster than better actors can correct the torrent of misinformation, or worse. Furthermore, the pandemic has, Bell says, accelerated malign developments by keeping people home and focused on nationally distributed news. The same might be said of the voters of California’s 18th and 9th, and New Jersey’s 6th and Pennsylvania’s 18th, congressional districts.
Tampa Bay Super Bowl not a COVID 'super spreader,' officials say, refuting media panic
       
Media panic over the Super Bowl in Tampa Bay, Florida, being a "super spreader" coronavirus event didn't pan out, as officials announced Wednesday just a few dozen COVID-19 cases associated with the big game. "The Super Bowl was not a super-spreader," Super Bowl LV Host Committee head Rob Higgins said. Hillsborough County officials announced only 53 COVID-19 cases statewide were found to be associated with official Super Bowl events, according to The Tampa Bay Times. MEDIA PUNDITS SCOLD TAMPA 'SUPERSPREADER' SUPER BOWL CELEBRATION, DOLLY PARTON KNOCKED FOR ADThe Tampa Bay Buccaneers became the first NFL team to win a Super Bowl played in their home stadium, routing the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 in Super Bowl LV on Feb. 7. "Tampa’s Maskless Super Bowl Celebration Leads To Super Spreader Fears," HuffPost wrote.
Dan Gainor: Hidin' Biden – still no presidential press conference but Dems like basement strategy
       
That strategy is going strong 43 days into his presidency as he still hasn’t held a press conference. White House press secretary Jen Psaki continues to avoid topics, vowing to "circle back," while mostly giving reporters the run-around. As long as President Joe is kept out of the limelight, he can’t generate too much controversy. Only this is the anti-Trump strategy that got Biden into the White House. It was headlined: "It's long past time for Joe Biden to start taking questions from the press."
AOC invokes Denmark in minimum wage debate — critics point out Denmark doesn't have a federal minimum wage
       
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., omitted a key detail on Wednesday while comparing the U.S. federal minimum wage to the wage paid to Danish McDonald’s workers. The New York congresswoman called the discussion around raising the federal minimum wage "utterly embarrassing" in a tweet published Tuesday night. There is one thing Ocasio-Cortez’s argument left out, though: Denmark doesn’t have a nationally mandated minimum wage. Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet came as Congress debates raising the federal minimum wage to $15. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and Tom Cotton, R-Ark., penned a joint op-ed published on FoxNews.com supporting a more modest minimum wage increase.
Biden still hasn’t held a press conference after 43 days in office
       
President Biden has been in office for 43 days without holding an official press conference and critics have taken notice. President Trump took 28 days to take questions from the press, while President Obama did it after only 21 days in office and President George W. Bush took 34 days. White House press secretary Jen Psaki recently said, "Not yet," when asked when Biden would hold his first press conference. CNN’s Jake Tapper tweeted that "Biden’s 15 most recent predecessors all held a formal solo press conference within 33 days of taking office." Whenever Biden’s address occurs, it would be the latest Joint Session address in decades.
Biden won't deliver speech to Congress until after vote on coronavirus bill, Psaki says
       
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said President Biden will wait to address a joint session of Congress until after Congress decides on the American Rescue Plan, his coronavirus relief package. Meanwhile, as for his first address to Congress, past presidents have traditionally given a speech to Congress during their first year in office, often in February. An address to a joint session of Congress is like a State of the Union, though it technically is not called that until the president's second year in office. Bush delivered one of the earliest addresses to a joint session, taking place on Feb. 9, 1989. Former President Barack Obama delivered his address on Feb. 24, 2009; former President George W. Bush delivered his on Feb. 27, 2001; and former President Bill Clinton delivered his on Feb. 17.
The Seuss debate shows Republicans' cancel culture war is a fight against the free market
       
Potato Head doll as part of a “Potato Head” brand, rather than a “Mr. Conservatives may not like which market forces companies respond to, but in a free market, that's not their call. But in a less free market, they believe, maybe it could be. “Republicans, conservatives must … repeal Section 230 liability protections,” Trump told the crowd, to extended cheers. In a free market in which Twitter was making bad business decisions, users would punish it by switching to Parler or Gab.
Huawei CFO's lawyers say Trump interference should get extradition canceled
       
Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou leaves her home to attend a court hearing in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada March 1, 2021. Trump’s alleged political interference and violation of her legal rights are among the reasons Meng’s lawyers argue that her extradition case should be thrown out. Ten days after Meng’s arrest, then-President Trump said in an interview with Reuters that he would intervene in the case to get a better trade deal with China. He also repeated that China’s arrest of Spavor and Kovrig was not linked to the Meng case. Meng’s case is scheduled to finish hearings in May.
Iran looms over Senate hearing for Biden nominee for senior U.S. State post
       
REUTERS/Denis BalibouseWendy Sherman, who helped negotiate the international accord in 2015, promised a new approach to Iran at her Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing. Former Republican President Donald Trump withdrew from the pact in 2018. Sherman said she did not know what the administration’s ultimate Iran policy would be, but stressed that Biden was determined not to let Iran obtain a nuclear weapon. Menendez said while he supported the Biden administration’s decision to engage with Iran, any policy needed bipartisan support to succeed. She can be confirmed without Republican support, since Democrats control the Senate.
New stimulus check thresholds would leave 12 million adults without payments
       
“In fact, the campaign’s cash balance is actually higher than previously listed on the campaign finance reports. In the 2016 cycle, before Donald Trump was elected, the Jordan campaign received a little over $733,000 and spent about $423,000, according to FEC records. But in 2020, they soared: he raked in $18.6 million and spent $13.2 million, and now sits on a $6 million stash. “FEC reports carry-forward financial information to subsequent reports,” he said. “The lack of a quorum of commissioners until the end of last year meant that FEC enforcement had stalled.
Rocket attack hits Iraqi air base hosting U.S.-led coalition troops
       
Ten rockets were fired at an Iraqi military base hosting U.S.-led coalition troops Wednesday, the latest in a series of rocket attacks in Iraq with this one just days before the pope is due to visit the country. Major Gen. Tahseen al-Khafaji of the Iraqi security forces told NBC News that there was no damage reported at the base. Wednesday’s rocket attack follows a U.S. airstrike last week in eastern Syria that killed one fighter in an Iranian-backed militia and wounded two others, according to the Pentagon. Story continuesNBC News has previously reported that Iranian-backed militias were most likely behind the Irbil rocket attack in February, and that the weapons and tactics resembled previous attacks by the Iranian-linked militias. However, it was unclear if Iran had encouraged or ordered the rocket attack.
$1,400 checks in COVID-19 relief bill would phase out at $80,000 instead of $100,000, according to deal between Biden and Democrats
       
Refinery29The next COVID relief bill is currently being negotiated in the Senate after passing the House late last Friday. The last relief bill passed in December, while Trump was still president. The relief bill before that was passed in late March 2020, and now we’re just a few days away from March 2021. The bad news, though, is that a key part of the relief bill — a $15 federal minimum wage hike — will likely not be included. A $15 minimum wage would be life-changing to so many Americans, and its exclusion from the next stimulus bill is an enormous disappointment.
10 rockets hit a base hosting US troops in Iraq, the 2nd such attack in a month
       
A US soldier at the Taji base complex, which hosts Iraqi and US troops, in 2014. ALI AL-SAADI/AFP via Getty ImagesTen rockets struck a base hosting US forces in Iraq early Wednesday. Ten rockets hit an air base in Iraq hosting US-led coalition and Iraqi troops, officials in the country said. An Iraqi military source said the attack was launched from just west of the city Baghdadi, near the base. A February 16 rocket attack on a northern Iraqi air base, used by the US military, killed a civilian contractor and injured a US soldier.
US: Rockets hit airbase in Iraq hosting US troops
       
National ReviewAt least ten rockets were launched at a coalition air base in western Iraq that hosts U.S. troops on Tuesday, less than a week after the Biden administration ordered airstrikes against Iran-backed militias in Syria. The attack targeted the Ain al-Asad air base in Iraq’s Anbar province, according to coalition spokesman Colonel Wayne Marotto. An American civilian contractor died of a heart attack “while sheltering” from the assault, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said. “The latest rocket attacks on U.S. & coalition troops is the work of Iran,” Rubio wrote on Twitter. “Iran makes the rockets, gives them to Shia militia groups and tells them where & when to attack.
Pentagon report: Rep. Ronny Jackson harassed staff, used alcohol on duty
       
WASHINGTON - The Pentagon has released a biting report of the conduct of Texas Republican Rep. Ronny Jackson during his tenure as White House physician in the Trump administration. He served in the White House Medical Unit under both Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush before being elevated to the top medical position by Obama in 2013. Who is Ronny Jackson? In 2011, he was promoted to director of the White House Medical Unit. This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Pentagon: Rep. Ronny Jackson harassed staff, used alcohol on duty
SUV in California crash that killed 13 came through hole in border fence
       
The Suburban carried 19 people, and it caught fire after entering the U.S. All escaped the vehicle and were taken into custody by Border Patrol agents. HOLTVILLE, Calif. (AP) — Thirteen people killed in one of the deadliest border crashes on record were among 44 people who entered the U.S. through a hole cut into Southern California’s border fence with Mexico, the Border Patrol said Wednesday. The Border Patrol said its agents were not pursuing the vehicle before the crash. A California Highway Patrol report said the SUV entered an intersection directly in front of the big rig, which hit the left side of the SUV. AdvertisementThe speed limit for tractor-trailers on the highway is 55 mph (89 kph), according to California Highway Patrol Officer Jake Sanchez.
Arizona Senate demands 2.1 million ballots and now? It has no idea what to do with them
       
For two months, the Arizona Senate has been demanding that Maricopa County turn over the 2.1 million ballots cast in the November election. In January, Senate President Karen Fann issued a third subpoena ordering the county to deliver the ballots by Jan. 13. The standoff ended last week when Superior Court Judge Timothy Thomason ordered the county to comply with the Senate subpoena. Late Monday, a lawyer for the Senate asked Maricopa County to hold off on delivering the ballots. I’m just guessing here, but maybe it’s because the Senate subpoena demanded that the ballots be delivered to 1700 W. Washington, which is the address of the Senate?
Agents: SUV in deadly crash drove through border fence
       
A California Highway Patrol officer examines the scene of a deadly crash in Holtville, Calif., Tuesday, March 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)Hugo Castro leaves crosses at the scene of a deadly crash in Holtville, Calif., Tuesday, March 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)A law enforcement officer examines the scene of a deadly crash in Holtville, Calif., Tuesday, March 2, 2021. The Suburban carried 19 people, and it caught fire after entering the U.S. All escaped the vehicle and were taken into custody by Border Patrol agents. The speed limit for tractor-trailers on the highway is 55 mph (89 kph), according to California Highway Patrol Officer Jake Sanchez.
SUV in California crash came through hole in border fence
       
HOLTVILLE, Calif. — Thirteen people killed in one of the deadliest border crashes on record were among 44 people who entered the U.S. through a hole cut into Southern California’s border fence with Mexico, the Border Patrol said Wednesday. The Suburban carried 19 people, and it caught fire after entering the U.S. All escaped the vehicle and were taken into custody by Border Patrol agents. The Border Patrol said its agents were not pursuing the vehicle before the crash. A California Highway Patrol report said the SUV entered an intersection directly in front of the big rig, which hit the left side of the SUV. The speed limit for tractor-trailers on the highway is 55 mph (89 kph), according to California Highway Patrol Officer Jake Sanchez.
House prepares to pass landmark voting rights, ethics bill
       
WASHINGTON — House Democrats are poised to pass a sweeping elections and ethics bill, offering it up as a powerful counterweight to voting rights restrictions advancing in Republican-controlled statehouses across the country. “Our purpose was to remove ... obstacles of participation for Democrats or Republicans,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday on the House floor. The measure, which was all but certain to pass the House in a vote expected Wednesday, has been a priority for Democrats since they won their majority in 2018. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court appeared ready to uphold voting restrictions in Arizona, which could make it harder to challenge state election laws in the future. “Democrats want to use their razor-thin majority not to pass bills to earn voters’ trust, but to ensure they don’t lose more seats in the next election,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said from the House floor on Tuesday.
Cindy Krischer Goodman
       
A life-saving COVID-19 treatment is available in South Florida for those newly diagnosed with the virus and at high risk. The problem is few people know about it, particularly hard-hit minorities. The antibody treatment includes the therapy given to President Trump when he got COVID.
SUV in crash killing 13 came through hole in border fence
       
HOLTVILLE, Calif. — Thirteen people killed in one of the deadliest border crashes on record were among 44 people who entered the U.S. through a hole cut into Southern California’s border fence with Mexico, the Border Patrol said Wednesday. The Suburban carried 19 people, and it caught fire after entering the U.S. All escaped the vehicle and were taken into custody by Border Patrol agents. The Border Patrol said its agents were not pursuing the vehicle before the crash. A California Highway Patrol report said the SUV entered an intersection directly in front of the big rig, which hit the left side of the SUV. The speed limit for tractor-trailers on the highway is 55 mph, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Jake Sanchez.
Trump weighs 2024 White House run without Mike Pence, allies say
       
“President Trump hasn’t made any decisions regarding a potential 2024 run, but the buried lede here is that the media can’t stop talking about him,” Trump adviser Jason Miller said. While Trump didn’t formally announce his candidacy at CPAC on Sunday, his first public appearance since leaving office on Jan. 20, he hinted at another bid. The former vice president is himself considered a top-tier potential candidate in 2024. A Harvard-Harris poll conducted Feb. 23-25 found that 42% of Republican voters preferred Trump as their 2024 nominee, compared to 18% for Pence, who placed second. Without Trump, Pence led the field with the support of 36% of Republican voters, followed by Texas Senator Ted Cruz at 13%.
Huawei CFO lawyer says Trump comments a 'salvo' in trade war
       
The U.S. wants her extradited to face fraud charges. Her arrest infuriated Beijing, which sees her case as a political move designed to prevent China’s rise. The U.S. accuses Huawei of using a Hong Kong shell company called Skycom to sell equipment to Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions. It says Meng, 49, committed fraud by misleading the HSBC bank about the company’s business dealings in Iran. Defense lawyer Richard Peck pointed to a 2018 interview in which Trump was asked if he would be willing to intervene in Meng’s case if it would help secure a trade deal with China or aid U.S. security interests.
GOP takes aim at Biden's health care pick on abortion rights
       
Perceptions changed after Becerra was appointed California attorney general in 2017. “What I just see is his getting involved in way too many abortion cases,” said Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats for Life of America. Yes, the laws were bad in California, but he has an abortion agenda.”Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., echoed those views. As attorney general, "you spent an inordinate amount of time and effort suing pro-life organizations,” he said, questioning Becerra recently. Because I think the majority of the American people would not want their secretary of Health and Human Services focused or fixated on expanding abortion when we got all of these public health issues to deal with.”
AP Exclusive: SUV in crash came through hole in border fence
       
Updated 5 times AlertMeHOLTVILLE, Calif. — Thirteen people killed in one of the deadliest border crashes on record were among more than 40 migrants who entered the U.S. through a hole cut into Southern California’s border fence with Mexico, the Border Patrol said Wednesday. The Suburban carried 19 people, and it caught fire for unknown reasons on a nearby interstate after entering the U.S. All escaped the vehicle and were taken into custody by Border Patrol agents. The Border Patrol said its agents were not pursuing the vehicle before the crash. Border Patrol photos show a panel of eight steel poles was lifted out and left on the ground in the desert next to an old tire and other debris. Seats in the SUV had been removed except for those for the driver and front passenger, said Omar Watson, chief of the California Highway Patrol’s border division.
AP Exclusive: SUV in crash came through hole in border fence
       
A California Highway Patrol officer examines the scene of a deadly crash in Holtville, Calif., Tuesday, March 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)A California Highway Patrol officer examines the scene of a deadly crash in Holtville, Calif., Tuesday, March 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)HOLTVILLE, Calif. (AP) — Thirteen people killed in one of the deadliest border crashes on record were among more than 40 migrants who entered the U.S. through a hole cut into Southern California’s border fence with Mexico, the Border Patrol said Wednesday. The Border Patrol said its agents were not pursuing the vehicle before the crash. Border Patrol photos show a panel of eight steel poles was lifted out and left on the ground in the desert next to an old tire and other debris.
Facebook to allow US political adverts after four-month ban
       
Facebook will lift its ban on political advertising in the United States on Thursday, ending a four-month blockade that began just after November's contentious election. The ban was briefly lifted on December 15 for adverts relating to January's run-off election for Georgia's two US Senate seats, but re-imposed it afterwards. On Wednesday, Facebook said: "We’re resuming political, electoral and social issue ads in the United States on Thursday, March 4. The lifting of the ban was first revealed by Politico, which cited emails from Facebook to its political advertisers. Facebook's broad definition of "political" advertising in the US had also caught charities, campaigners and publishers of political books.
Dr. Fauci donated his personal 3-D model of coronavirus to the Smithsonian
       
Dr. Anthony Fauci donated his personal 3-D model of the coronavirus to the Smithsonian National Museum of American on Tuesday as part of a ceremony honouring him with the museum’s Great Americans Medical. Mr Fauci, director of the Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, chief medical adviser to the White House, and in many ways the public face of the public health response to Covid, called the award “extraordinary and humbling”. “This has been a terrible year in so many respects,” he said during a ceremony on Tuesday, which, owing to the pandemic, was done virtually. The collection for the show already includes a photo of a New York man wearing a ‘Fauci’ T-shirt. Read our privacy notice Thanks for signing up to the News newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent.
Ivanka Trump puts on a sporty show in tennis whites as she leaves her Miami apartment
       
Ivanka Trump is on a serious workout kick - heading out for a session on the tennis courts days after being snapped on a run with her husband Jared Kushner in the scorching Miami heat. The 39-year-old First Daughter was pictured leaving her luxury Miami apartment in bright tennis whites on Wednesday morning, complete with a white baseball cap and sporty sneakers. Her matching tennis set featured subtle light blue detailing on both the top and bottom for a pop of color. Like Ivanka, Jared had on a face mask and a baseball cap, though his was light blue. It's been an active week for Ivanka and Jared, who were spotted running together in the scorching Miami heat on Saturday.
Rep. Ronny Jackson wanted aide to film him eating fertilzed bird eggs on Manila trip
       
One witness recalled seeing Jackson drinking in the hotel lobby almost immediately after arriving in Manila. Witnesses 'observed RDML Jackson drink four to six alcoholic beverages in addition to what he already consumed before arriving,' according to the report. Jackson and two witnesses 'returned to their hotel where RDML Jackson and Manila Witness 1 planned to eat balut in RDML Jackson’s room. It said the investigation was hampered by the Trump administration which insisted interviews with White House Medical Unit staff could only be conducted in the presence of White House counsel. Prior to working as the White House physician Jackson also worked in the White House medical unit under the George W. Bush administration.
Trump Served With Civil Rights Suit After Capitol Riot
       
Attorneys for Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and the NAACP have served former President Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago club with a lawsuit filed against him in February. Thompson and the NAACP filed suit against Trump alleging that his incendiary rhetoric and false claims of a “stolen” election amounted to a conspiracy to interfere with civil rights by inciting the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. Trump advisers did not immediately provide comment on who, if anyone, at this point is representing the former president for this lawsuit. When Trump was served, it was merely signed for by a “Ricky,” according to the court document. Johnson dismissed the suits against Campbell and Verizon but has appealed a federal judge’s dismissal of his suit against The Huffington Post.
Senate GOP will force clerks to read bill to delay COVID relief vote
       
Democrats on Wednesday were grumbling over the prospect of having to factor an additional 10 hours of floor time into passing the bill. Any senator can force a reading of a bill on the floor but the formality is almost always skipped by unanimous consent to avoid wasting time. A Republican senator said Johnson will force a reading of the Senate substitute, which will include several changes compared to the 630-page House passed-relief bill. First Black secretary of Senate sworn in Republican Ohio Senate candidate calls on GOP rep to resign over impeachment vote MORE (D-N.Y.). Democrats have removed both projects from the Senate version of the bill.
Israel accuses Iran of link to oil spill off its shores
       
TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Israel accused Iran on Wednesday of being linked to a recent oil spill off its shores that caused major ecological damage, calling the incident environmental terrorism. FILE PHOTO: A clump of tar is seen on the sand after an offshore oil spill drenched much of Israel's Mediterranean shoreline with tar, at a beach in Ashdod, southern Israel February 21, 2021. “Iran is (conducting) terrorism by damaging the environment, and (when) Iran is damaging the environment it isn’t just hurting the state of Israel,” Gamliel said. ECOLOGICAL DISASTERThe oil spill blackened beaches up and down the Israeli coast, and clumps of sticky black tar have washed up on the shores of south Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, as well. The ship tracking data did not show any destinations in Iran, though it is common for vessels to conceal their movements there.
India’s Muslim Journalists Are Under Attack
       
India’s Muslim Journalists Are Under Attack India’s Muslim Journalists Are Under Attack As the mainstream media has consolidated behind the BJP, independent journalism in India has become a dangerous activity. Already underrepresented in mainstream media, Muslim journalists make for easy, conspicuous targets—as Khan and others like her realized last February. He was also asked to drop his pants for proof he wasn’t Muslim (Muslim men are circumcised), according to a report in the Telegraph. As of December 31, 2020, according to the International Federation of Journalists, India ranks fourth in the list of countries most dangerous for journalists , with eight journalists killed in 2020. For journalists, especially Muslim journalists, in the new India, this training may turn out to be as essential to their reporting.
Placing the Proud Boys on Canada’s Terrorism List Is a Threat to the Left
       
Civil Liberties Matter Following 9/11, the extensive exploitation of relaxed civil liberties was used as a pretext to engage in egregious human rights abuses. Because of a street-fighting division of the Proud Boys, nuance is required in parsing the case of the organization. Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes, getting a kick out of Chapman’s actions, invited Chapman to join the club. Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio claims that Chapman left in 2017 to form “his own thing.” He applied to rejoin in October 2020 but was rejected. What is very clear is that even if McInnes and his Proud Boys say they weren’t initially interested in the alt-right or street fighting, the street-fighting alt-right were very much interested in the Proud Boys.
Silicon Valley’s Offer of Sectoral Bargaining Is a Trick
       
Subscribe to The Nation Subscribe now for as little as $2 a month! In exchange for establishing this third category, the gig-economy employers are dangling a carrot called sectoral bargaining. Such comparison are either disingenuous or ignorant—either way, accepting third-category status in exchange for sectoral bargaining would be a disaster for US workers. It took worker power to win the standards workers enjoy in every country that currently has sectoral bargaining. If national union leaders acquiesce to the creation of a third category of worker in exchange for sectoral bargaining, we can kiss collective bargaining good-bye and surrender to collective begging.
I’m a Military Spouse. The Capitol Attack Reminded Me of a War Zone.
       
“Are you okay?” asked a friend and military spouse in the voicemail she left for me on the afternoon the mob of Trump supporters breached the Capitol so violently. I listened to concerns that the far-right nationalist attack on the Capitol would, sooner or later, inspire violence against their own families. The Isolation of Military ServiceThere are about 2 million Americans who serve in the US military and 2.6 million more who are military spouses and dependents. Military spouses also care for children in mourning, temporarily or in some cases permanently, over the loss of a parent. And the military that’s been fighting those hopeless, bloody wars in distant lands for so long is on edge, too.
Democrats Need to Hold Andrew Cuomo Accountable
       
Subscribe to The Nation Subscribe now for as little as $2 a month! Subscribe to The Nation Subscribe now for as little as $2 a month! Subscribe to The Nation Subscribe now for as little as $2 a month! Less than a year ago, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was touted as the golden boy of American politics. But in order to make the claim that they are the more ethical party, Democrats have to first clean house, starting with Cuomo.
Biden inaction on Saudis’ Khashoggi assassination angers News Guild
       
People hold posters of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, near the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, marking the two-year anniversary of his death, Oct. 2, 2020. His assassination angered both the local and then-News Guild President Bernie Lunzer, who demanded a formal investigation and sanctions. Biden released the report summary, but his inaction on sanctions against MBS upset the union all over again. Current News Guild President Jon Schleuss endorsed the statement. SPJ President Matthew Hall called the intelligence summary “too little, too late.”“Many Americans have now read—and all should read—the four-page declassified intelligence report on the killing of Jamal Khashoggi,” Hall added.
Biden: With Defense Production Act, enough vaccines by end of May – People's World
       
A worker packs a box of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine into a cooler for shipping from a facility in Shepherdsville, Ky., Monday, March 1, 2021. Biden credited the stepped-up timetable to his ongoing use of the Defense Production Act and the establishment of a partnership between two long-time corporate rivals, Merck and Johnson and Johnson. Biden said the country is in a “war” against the coronavirus, justifying his sweeping measures against it. “When we came into office, the prior administration had contracted for not nearly enough vaccine to cover adults in America. First, the Republican governor of one huge state announces he will ignore the president’s pleas for caution and that he will end mask mandates and immediately open up his state entirely.
Narrative of fear: Republicans try to block LGBTQ Equality Act
       
Major changesUnder the Equality Act, the meaning of “public accommodations” will be greatly expanded. The Equality Act would outlaw unequal treatment or harassment of all individuals that fall under any protected category where there are currently limitations. The Equality Act specifically names the RFRA and says it cannot be used as a pretext for discrimination against protected groups. Further, the Equality Act makes it so legislation protecting members of the LGBTQ community is permanently enshrined in federal law. The GOP fear narrativeAlthough the Republican Party has been seemingly turning in on itself with post-election internal divisions, its elected officials have remained united against the Equality Act.
Republicans make the FBI look like the good guys
       
Instigator turned investigator Sen. Josh Hawley, left, questions FBI Director Chris Wray at a Senate hearing on Tuesday. President Biden has directed his national intelligence director to work with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security to gauge the threat from white supremacists. Wray said the number of domestic terrorism investigations has grown from 1,000 when he became FBI director in 2017 to 2,000 now. The number of arrests of white supremacists has tripled, he said. “Some of those people clearly came to Washington, we now know, with the plans and intentions to engage in the worst kind of violence we would consider domestic terrorism,” Wray said.
Politicians Should Not Be Idolized
       
Cuomo was praised for his leadership by citizens and politicians alike. The United States’ shining example of crisis leadership has quickly begun to fall from grace. However, Cuomo’s rapid descent from patriotic hero to just another sleazy politician provides a lesson for the U.S. public: idolizing politicians is dangerous and foolish. Praising politicians for their basic competency shows them that we do not expect any meaningful change, and care more about optics than legislative progress. Fostering a cult of celebrity around politicians puts them above us, the people.
The key ingredient that could hold back vaccine manufacturing
       
That’s where lipid nanoparticles, which are made of ingredients like cholesterol and harder-to-make specialty compounds like the ionizable cationic lipid, come in. Again, not every Covid-19 vaccine or vaccine candidate is built like those from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine candidate as well as the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine don’t rely on mRNA or lipid nanoparticles. Rather, experts told Recode the challenges in scaling up production of these necessary chemicals could be holding back vaccine production in general. But even as we continue to discover and resolve new hurdles in the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out, more challenges will surely lie ahead.
Your tweet goes viral. Here come the companies asking you to sell their crap.
       
Joe Gagliese, co-founder and CEO of the influencer marketing and management company Viral Nation, has seen it a million times: “In the grand scheme of things, that’s not going to retire anybody. As often as brands reach out to the creators of viral videos, so too do the growing number of talent and influencer management companies. “I met an influencer through our talent agency who was on a 70/30 management company deal, with the management company taking 70 [percent]. The industry is becoming so big that now these little viral sensations happen all the time.”Attempting to turn one-hit wonders into viable careers is the bread and butter for some management companies. People already add their Venmo or PayPal to their social media bios; they make public their Amazon Wish Lists.
The Cuomo sexual harassment allegations are a test for Democrats
       
When the first woman came forward to report sexual harassment by New York Gov. In other words, if Cuomo is a test for Democrats, he’s unlikely to be the last one — or the hardest. And what Democrats do about Cuomo will be, to some degree, a test of how seriously they take sexual harassment allegations in an era when they’re in power. On the other hand, Cuomo was already damaged in the public eye when the most recent allegations came to light. But the allegations against Cuomo will be just one of many tests of Democrats’ values in the coming months and years.
QAnon believers think Trump will be inaugurated again on March 4
       
They have tried to rationalize Biden becoming president in increasingly outrageous ways, claiming that Biden and Trump are working together and even that Trump and Biden somehow switched bodies. This is actually relevant to the conspiracy theory: QAnon believers argue that in ending the gold standard, Roosevelt transferred power to a group of shadowy foreign investors who have since been controlling the US government. The March 4 conspiracy theory has been spreading on both mainstream and alternative right-wing social media platforms alike. Many QAnon followers have also migrated to largely unmoderated social media platforms like Gab, MeWe, Telegram, CloutHub, Rumble, and Parler, which recently came back online. But individual QAnon followers have resorted to violence in the past, including Matthew Wright, who is serving an eight-year sentence for engaging in an armed standoff with police at the Hoover Dam.
The Keystone XL pipeline is officially dead. Here’s what Biden and Trudeau should do next.
       
If Biden and Trudeau are really serious about bilateral collaboration on climate change, the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline should be a starting point. The Keystone XL pipeline, briefly explainedThe Keystone XL pipeline became an almost perfect example of the various stakeholders — Native communities, climate activists, scientists, policymakers, farmers, landowners, and everyday citizens — engaging in the broader debate about climate change. Environmental groups took note of Indigenous opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline. “The Keystone XL pipeline was never about any single pipeline. The first step in canceling Keystone XL for good is removing the existing Keystone pipeline infrastructure — which Biden and Trudeau could work together to make happen.
The Invisible Artistry of Asian Actors
       
Yet Chung has reason to worry that Han’s understated performance is being overlooked: Hollywood has an unsettling history of ignoring Asian actors for awards, even if their projects are critically acclaimed. Last year, Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite became the first foreign-language film to win Best Picture at the Oscars. But despite the film’s six nominations and four wins, its stellar all-Korean cast was snubbed, igniting a conversation about the movie industry’s long-standing disregard for Asian actors. Despite the odds, she became the only Asian American woman to win that award in the Globes’ 77-year history. Read: The double meaning of the American dreamAs more creators of color break through and tell different kinds of stories, Hollywood’s snubbing of Asian actors is becoming especially obvious and newly urgent.
Who Would Volunteer to Fact-Check Twitter?
       
Read: How a fake baby is bornI’m telling this story because I think it’s funny, but also because it illustrates a core problem with Birdwatch at this stage: There is no good reason for most people to volunteer to fact-check Twitter. A few of them have already been more than willing to give of their time. His idea was to distribute the responsibility for catching and cornering misinformation across the entire Twitter community. Regular users might be able to move faster than machines when misinformation popped up in their social circles. Coleman acknowledged that the notes contain “quite a variety of quality,” so far, and said that his team expected this.
Trump’s Pentagon Blocked Troops From Getting to the Capitol Riots For Hours, DC National Guard Commander Said
       
The DC National Guard had 340 troops either deployed or ready to deploy to help DC police handle traffic around the city that day. Walker said he could have had 155 National Guard troops at the Capitol within 20 minutes of getting the order. For hours, crowds stormed the Capitol on live TV while National Guard troops waited for permission to deploy. Once the green light was given, National Guard troops arrived at the Capitol in 18 minutes, said Walker. Salesses did not address why that order was not passed on to the National Guard until 5:08 p.m.
International megatrial of coronavirus treatments is at a standstill
       
International megatrial of coronavirus treatments is at a standstillScience 's COVID-19 reporting is supported by the Heising-Simons Foundation. The only global trial of potential COVID-19 treatments is languishing. “The Solidarity trial is now on pause,” he says. Hundreds of smaller studies of experimental COVID-19 therapies have not included enough patients to convincingly rule in or out any drugs. The Recovery trial also produced important results, including showing in June 2020 that the cheap steroid dexamethasone could cut deaths from COVID-19 by one-third.
Tim Allen says he 'kind of liked' when President Trump made people angry
       
During a lengthy interview on the podcast "WTF with Marc Maron," Allen dropped a comment about former President Donald Trump that drew quite a buzz on social media. While discussing his views about being a fiscal conservative and disliking the "we culture" of being told "we should do this, we should do that," Allen said, "Once I realized that the last president pissed people off, I kind of liked that. The 67-year-old comedian and actor, who grew up in Michigan, told Maron that his main issue is taxes, and he's essentially against how both political parties use them. "When I was watching that, I felt that the president should have been a stand-up guy and go there with his security and say, 'Hey, come on. No, no, no, no,'" the former "Home Improvement" star told EW.
Covid-19 Live Updates: Biden’s Call for Vaccinating Educators Is Part of Ambitious Schools Plan
       
It goes vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine. I’m old enough to get it, and I’m smart enough to get it.” She also broke into song (naturally), replacing the word “Jolene” in one of her best-known choruses with “vaccine.” “Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine,” she sang, embellishing the last one with her trademark Tennessee lilt. “I’m begging of you please don’t hesitate.” “Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine,” she added, “because once you’re dead, then that’s a bit too late.” Just before the doctor arrived to inoculate her — or “pop me in my arm,” as she put it — she doubled down on her message. “This pilot plan will maximize the initial doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and get as many shots in arms as possible,” Mr. Cuomo said. “We’ll reserve as much as we can for that," Mr. de Blasio said of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Biden faces steep challenges to reach renewable energy goals
       
Disruption from the pandemic has cost the renewable energy industry, which relies heavily on labor, about 450,000 jobs. To reach Biden’s 100 percent renewable energy goal will require a massive buildout of grid infrastructure to get energy from the windy plains or offshore wind farms over long distances to cities where electricity is needed. The wind power industry and clean energy advocates say the new administration can make the country an offshore wind power leader. Estimates of employment in the US clean energy sector range from about 700,000 to 3 million jobs. “Justice for disadvantaged communities and welcoming legacy energy workers into the clean power workforce are vital aspects of the success of the clean energy transition,” said Heather Zichal, chief executive officer of the American Clean Power Association.
Ronny Jackson made sexual comments about subordinate, drank alcohol on trips as WH physician: IG
       
U.S. Rep. Ronny Jackson made "sexual and denigrating" comments about a female subordinate and engaged in inappropriate use of alcohol while on two presidential trips during his time as the White House physician, according to a Pentagon inspector general report. Investigators interviewed 78 witnesses and reviewed White House documents to reach the conclusion that Jackson, R-Texas, failed to treat his subordinates on the White House Medical Unit staff with dignity and respect, the report said. "Three years ago I was the subject of a political hit job because I stood with President Trump," Jackson said. CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APPAllegations of misconduct first arose after Trump nominated Jackson to be Veteran's Affairs secretary in April 2018. The doctor withdrew from the running after the Pentagon inspector general began investigating allegations of workplace misconduct, such as alcohol abuse and mishandling prescription drugs.
Capitol Police Chief Pittman says threats to Congress members up by 93.5% in first 2 months of 2021
       
Capitol Police acting Chief Yogananda Pittman testified before a House Appropriations subcommittee Wednesday that threats to members of Congress have increased by 93.5% within the first two months of 2021, compared to the same time period last year. "This was abundantly clear on January 6, 2021, when insurrectionists attempted to prevent the Congress from certifying the 2020 Electoral College results by storming the U.S. U.S. Capitol Police was forced to reevaluate its budget justification for the 2022 fiscal year following the events of Jan. 6, Pittman said. Meanwhile, U.S. Capitol Police said Wednesday it "obtained intelligence that shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group on Thursday, March 4." The department "is aware of and prepared for any potential threats towards members of Congress or towards the Capitol complex," the statement said.
Hear why QAnon supporters believe Trump will be president on March 4th
       
Some believers of the QAnon conspiracy theory think that former President Trump will become president again on March 4th. CNN's Sara Sidner explains the origin of that belief.
Mike Pence Is Back And He's Lying About Election Security
       
In his first public remarks since President Joe Biden’s inauguration, former Vice President Mike Pence is pushing falsehoods about election security in an op-ed he authored for The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. Of particular ire to Pence is Democrats’ first major bill of the 116th Congress, the For The People Act. Trump and his allies filed more than 60 election lawsuits seeking to overturn the election results on that basis. An inquiry by Trump’s Justice Department also concluded there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud that would have changed the outcome of the election. Pence briefly referred to that day in his op-ed, describing it as “tragic.” He failed to acknowledge that members of the mob were chanting “hang Mike Pence” as they roamed the Capitol Building, apparently looking for him to violently persuade him not to certify the results of the 2020 election.
Meet the woman ready to come out of Cuomo’s shadow
       
| Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Housing Works Meet the woman ready to come out of Cuomo’s shadow New York Lt. Gov. And now, as the number of Democrats calling for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation seems to tick up every few hours, Hochul could soon become the second recent lieutenant governor to assume the state’s top post because of an incumbent's sexual misdeeds. The lieutenant governor has said little about the accusations against the governor, who is accused of sexually harassing two former staff members. But it’s a role she’s fiercely defended.
POLITICO Playbook PM: NRCC chief to Trump: Please don’t
       
“‘The United States Capitol Police Department is aware of and prepared for any potential threats towards members of Congress or towards the Capitol complex,’ the agency said in a statement. Emmer, a longtime Trump supporter, wouldn’t go as far as to tell the head of his party to butt out completely, but his intentions were clear. Emmer has officially become the first member of Republican leadership to publicly caution Trump against acting out on his thirst for revenge. …“Senate Democrats need all 50 of their members to kick off consideration of the bill, a vote expected on Wednesday afternoon. 1125 South Ocean Blvd.” With picsWHITE HOUSE ARRIVAL LOUNGE — Reggie Greer has been appointed director of priority placement at PPO and senior adviser on LGBTQ issues at the White House.
As COVID-19 Spread, The Trump Administration Was Cutting Back On Workplace Inspections
       
New data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration shows a historic drop in inspections performed by the agency while the coronavirus spread. OSHA conducted 21,674 inspections between October 2019 and September 2020, down from 33,393 the previous fiscal year. Debbie Berkowitz, a workplace safety expert at the National Employment Law Project, said in an email that the number of inspections carried out in fiscal year 2020 was the lowest on record going back at least two decades. They should have done at least 12,000 more inspections.” The Trump administration took withering criticism for its ?abysmal response to the workplace hazards posed by the virus. Employers tend to fix hazards more quickly when OSHA performs inspections onsite.
Police uncover ‘possible plot’ by militia to breach Capitol
       
Capitol Police say they have intelligence showing a “possible plot” by a militia group to breach the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, nearly two months after a mob of supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the iconic building to try to stop Congress from certifying now-President Joe Biden's victory. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, rioters storm the Capitol, in Washington. Capitol Police say they have intelligence showing a “possible plot” by a militia group to breach the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, nearly two months after a mob of supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the iconic building to try to stop Congress from certifying now-President Joe Biden's victory. Police were ill prepared for the mass of Trump supporters in tactical gear, some armed, and it took hours for National Guard reinforcements to come. “We have obtained intelligence that shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group on Thursday, March 4.” Police did not identify the militia group in the statement.
Former CIA chief says he is ‘increasingly embarrassed’ to be a white man
       
Former CIA director John Brennan arrive at a closed hearing before the Senate (Select) Intelligence Committee May 16, 2018 on Capitol Hill. (Getty Images)Former CIA boss John Brennan said on MSNBC that he's "increasingly embarrassed" to be a white man considering the actions he saw during CPAC. Mr Brennan said: “I’m increasingly embarrassed to be a white male these days with what I see other white males say." These are all people that think they have a huge grievance from a position of significant privilege." New York Times justice correspondent Katie Benner said: "I think what we're seeing right now is a trade-off between national security and power, the amassing of power.
Venezuela's Guaido, U.S. Secretary of State Blinken discuss 'return to democracy'
       
Oak Flat sits atop one of the largest untapped copper deposits in the world, estimated to be worth more than $1bn. Oak Flat sits atop one of the largest untapped copper deposits in the world, estimated to be worth more than $1bn. While tribes and environmental groups celebrated the Forest Service announcement, they noted the threat of losing Oak Flat remains. “The Forest Service is just changing the execution date.” The Oak Flat campground outside of Globe, Arizona. The bill calls for the repeal of the land exchange legislation and was previously co-sponsored in the Senate by Bernie Sanders.
Parler sues Amazon again, alleging breach of contract, defamation; drops first antitrust suit
       
Social media company Parler dropped its antitrust lawsuit and filed a separate suit against Amazon and Amazon Web Services this week, alleging breach of contract and defamation. Parler moved to voluntarily dismiss that suit, according to a filing reported by The Verge. In late January, a judge ruled against Parler’s request to force Amazon to restore the company to its web hosting services. Parler's suit alleged Amazon said Parler was “okay” regarding any “problematic” content on its site just two days before Amazon announced the company’s removal. Amazon Web Services had known Parler used a “reactive system to deal with problematic content – and not once had AWS said that such a system was insufficient or in violation of the parties’ contract," it said.
Andrew Cuomo has a problem. But why are Democrats pushing him to resign?
       
It relates to sexually suggestive comments and inappropriate conduct he allegedly directed toward women, two of whom worked for him. Cuomo’s bullying is well known, and sexual harassment allegations made several months ago by one of the women were essentially ignored . One former top staffer, Lindsey Boylan, tweeted back in December that Cuomo sexually harassed her for years. In the 2016 election, Americans elected Donald Trump as president despite multiple accusations of sexual harassment and misconduct. The sexual harassment allegations can help make that happen.
Tim Allen knew he’d get blowback for laughing off Trump’s actions
       
During Donald Trump’s presidency, Tim Allen tried not to say too much about politics, aware that his conservative views could make him a target. '”Then Allen said: “Once I realized that the last president pissed people off, I kind of liked that. Tim Allen… "Once I realized that [Trump] pissed people off, I kind of liked that. ? Tim Allen — Jake Lobin (@JakeLobin) March 3, 2021Tim Allen, a grown man, says he likes Trump because Trump upset so many people Allen felt deserved upsetting. Allen ended up attending Trump’s inauguration, leading Entertainment Weekly to ask if he had become “a Trump fan.”Allen was reluctant to go there.
If curtailing racist imagery in Dr. Seuss is 'cancel culture,' what, exactly, is your culture?
       
It is, instead, about the way in which stated concerns about "cancel culture" can serve as Spackle for frustrations over a changing world. And this being March 2021, one response was obvious and immediate: Wow, they're canceling Dr. Seuss! No one is "canceling" Dr. Seuss, a phrasing by now so detached from reality that it doesn't even make any sense. It's not that some Dr. Seuss books are being taken out of rotation. The fight against "cancel culture" is now a mainstay of Republican rhetoric because it extends that complaint.
General: Pentagon hesitated on sending Guard to Capitol riot
       
Guard troops who had been waiting on buses were then rushed to the Capitol, arriving in 18 minutes, Walker said. The hourslong delay cost the National Guard precious minutes in the early hours of the rioting. Much of the focus on Wednesday’s Senate hearing centered on communications between the National Guard and the Defense Department. Contee said Sund was pleading with Army officials to deploy National Guard troops as the rioting escalated. Thousands of National Guard troops are still patrolling the fenced-in Capitol, and multiple committees across Congress are launching investigations into mistakes made on Jan. 6.
US contractor dies during rocket attack on military base in Iraq
       
A US contractor died of cardiac failure after rocket fire hit an Iraqi base hosting American-led troops on Wednesday, the Pentagon said, two days before Pope Francis’ visit to the country. Iraqi security forces were on the scene and investigating, but it was too early to attribute responsibility, it said. Col Wayne Marotto, a spokesman for the US-led forces, said 10 rockets had hit the base at 7:20 am . Iraqi security forces said they had found the platform from which the “Grad-type rockets” had been fired. More rockets hit a US military contracting company working north of the capital and the US embassy in Baghdad days later, but only injuries were reported.
US warned of possible militia plot to attack Capitol on Thursday
       
Federal authorities on Wednesday warned that people associated with identified militia groups have been discussing plans for another to attack on the US Capitol with the aim of removing Democratic politicians on or about 4 March. The FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the US Capitol police department has obtained intelligence pointing to a possible plot to “breach the Capitol by an identified militia group” on Thursday, the agency said on Wednesday. The Capitol police statement noted that it had already made “significant security upgrades” at the Capitol. The FBI has warned of extremist online “chatter” about attacking the Capitol on 4 or 6 March. House security are no longer anticipating protests or violence from groups traveling to Washington on Thursday, the sergeant, Timothy Blodgen, reported.
Jimmy Kimmel mocks Oklahoma for spending $2m on hydroxychloroquine ‘to show Trump how much he means to them’
       
Jimmy Kimmel poked fun at Oklahoma’s decision to spend $2m on hydroxychloroquine, only for the drug to be dismissed by the World Health Organisation as a means to prevent Covid-19. The late-night host broached the topic on Tuesday’s episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live. He started out by discussing a WHO expert panel which said on Tuesday that hydroxychloroquine should not be used in the prevention of Covid-19. Read our privacy notice Independent Culture Newsletter The best in film, music TV & radio straight to your inbox every week Thanks for signing up to the Independent Culture newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. Read our privacy noticeThe host then joked that the Oklahoma board of tourism “is trying to make it some kind of selling point”.
Ronny Jackson: Ex-White House doctor denies drinking on the job
       
Mr Trump later nominated him to be his Veterans Affairs secretary, but Mr Jackson withdrew his name amid allegations that he created a hostile work environment, drank on the job and handed out prescription drugs like "they were candy".
Police tighten security amid fears of fresh plot to breach US Capitol
       
Police have ramped up security around the US Capitol after uncovering a "possible plot" to storm the building for a second time. Far-right conspiracy theorists have claimed for weeks, without evidence, that former US President Donald Trump will be reinstated on March 4. "We have obtained intelligence that shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group on Thursday, March 4," Capitol Police said in a statement on Wednesday. QAnon followers believed that Trump would not leave office on January 20, but instead would announce mass arrests of Democrats and stop Joe Biden from becoming President. A number of individuals believed to be QAnon followers have been charged for their alleged involvement in the deadly insurrection on January 6.
Will Smith says he's been called the 'N-word' a handful of times but never by a 'smart person'
       
Will Smith spoke about his experiences with racism in a new podcast interview, revealing that despite being a Hollywood actor he was not immune from targeted aggression. The 52-year-old Men In Black star shared on Pod Save America Monday that he has been called 'the N-word' a handful of times in his life, but had always equated it with levels of intelligence. 'I've been called the N-word to my face probably five or six times. Fortunately for my psyche I've never been called N-word by a smart person,' he shared, before elaborating that he has found that 'less true' as he has gotten older. When it comes to his career in Hollywood, Smith has spoken in the past about not letting racism get 'power' over him.
Freedom House downgrades India to 'partly free'
       
"Rather than serving as a champion of democratic practice and a counterweight to authoritarian influence from countries such as China, Modi and his party are tragically driving India itself toward authoritarianism," Freedom House said in its annual report. Freedom House also pointed to the "ham-fisted" Covid-19 lockdown ordered by Modi in which massive numbers of workers who lacked resources were obliged to walk across the country to their villages. "The ruling Hindu nationalist movement also encouraged the scapegoating of Muslims, who were disproportionately blamed for the spread of the virus and faced attacks by vigilante mobs," it said. The United States remained classified as free following Donald Trump's turbulent presidency but Freedom House warned of the "parlous state of US democracy." Freedom House also highlighted the Trump administration's dismissal of inspector generals tasked with looking out for government misconduct as well as "disproportionate violence by police" against anti-racism protesters last year.
Top US health official says not time to end Covid curbs
       
"Every individual is empowered to do the right thing here regardless of what the states decide... "The president is 100 percent behind Doctor Walensky and the CDC's recommendations," White House coronavirus advisor Andy Slavitt said, speaking after Walensky at a coronavirus briefing. It is now time to open Texas 100 percent," he said to cheers from his audience. On Tuesday Biden announced that the United States will have enough Covid-19 vaccines for its adult population by the end of May -- two months earlier than his last forecast. He also unveiled a major deal for pharma giant Merck to produce the vaccine shot developed by its rival Johnson & Johnson.
Far-right militia group plotting to ‘breach’ the US Capitol on March 4, police warn
       
“We have obtained intelligence that shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group on Thursday, March 4,” the US Capitol police said in a statement on Wednesday. That security bulletin names the far-right militia the “Three Percenters” as posing a threat. Please enter your email address Please enter a valid email address Please enter a valid email address SIGN UP Thanks for signing up to the Inside Washington newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. Read our privacy notice Thanks for signing up to the Inside Washington newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. At a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing with Capitol security officials last week, Senator Angus King highlighted the dilemma facing members and those responsible for their safety.
US conservationists, mining firms vie for Minnesota wilderness
       
A treasure trove of mineralsEach year, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, or BWCA for short, attracts over 155,000 visitors. The second mining company, Twin Metals Minnesota, has proposed mining an area just a few miles from Ely, boasting it would create “750 direct jobs and 1,500 spinoff jobs in the community”. But the Twin Metals plan has created a rift in the community as well. Twin Metals Minnesota can now bring prosperity back to the families of the region,” the company added. We pay good wages and have benefits and I think we’re competitive with what might be potential mining jobs.
Opinion | Trumpism Has No Heirs
       
The conservatism that was seemingly agreed upon by the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute and National Review was not the conservatism that Mr. Trump sold to the American people. Mr. Trump campaigned on a self-serving redefinition of what it even means to be conservative and won. While populist nationalism exists, its existence does not depend on any one individual. What Mr. Trump was for was Donald Trump, and what Trumpism is, is Donald Trump. Put another way: Had Mr. Trump run for the presidency as a “severely conservative” nominee, he probably would have won the nomination just the same.
Parler scraps Amazon antitrust lawsuit after relaunching
       
Parler has dropped the antitrust lawsuit it brought against Amazon after the tech titan booted the right-wing social network from its servers. The move forced Parler offline for about a month until it found a new host for its website. The Nevada-based firm came out with guns blazing in response, accusing Amazon in its lawsuit of silencing Parler to protect Twitter — another AWS customer that had banned Trump days earlier — from a growing rival. Parler walked away from the court battle following a period of internal turmoil. Neither Parler nor Amazon immediately responded to requests for comment Wednesday.
Michael Cohen — disbarred former Trump fixer — gets COVID-19 vaccine
       
Michael Cohen, the now-disbarred attorney who served as former President Donald Trump’s go-to lawyer before turning state’s evidence, received his coronavirus vaccine on Wednesday. But Cohen said that by Wednesday, the process was smooth as silk. “It was flawless,” Cohen told The Post by phone. Michael Cohen said he qualified due to unspecified “health morbidities.”Once seen as Trump’s legal fixer, the pair’s relationship soured after Cohen implicated Trump while separately pleading guilty to lying during special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation on Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election. Michael Cohen, the now-disbarred attorney who served as former President Donald Trump’s lawyer.
CNN called out for tone shift on Biden reopening schools, compared to Trump coverage
       
CNN's tone on school reopening appears to have taken a different tone with President Biden leading the call for it, instead of former President Trump. Drew Holden, a conservative commentator, noted Biden was quoted in September by the CNN Politics account demanding Trump negotiate a deal for emergency school funding. CNN's Chris Cillizza wrote the same month on the "very clear dangers" of Trump trying to reopen schools. "'Normally, people don't play with kids' lives': Trump's push to reopen schools becomes another partisan fight," CNN wrote in another July news story. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last summer it would work with every school district to create safe environments for school reopening.
Andrew Cuomo aide leaves COVID-19 task force amid sex-harass scandal
       
The aide whose wedding reception was the venue that led to a sexual-harassment allegation against Gov. Andrew Cuomo is leaving the state’s COVID-19 task force, he said Wednesday. CUOMO SPEAKS AS NY LAWMAKERS CALL FOR RESIGNATION, IMPEACHMENT OVER SCANDALSThe move came just days after Anna Ruch, 33, became the third woman to accuse Cuomo, 63, of sexual harassment. It also came shortly before Cuomo was expected to hold his first news conference since the scandal erupted last week. Rhodes has regularly been among the Cuomo administration officials to join the governor at his briefings.
Republicans want briefing from Mayorkas after DHS chief claims 'no' border crisis
       
EXCLUSIVE: House Republicans on the Border Security Caucus are requesting a briefing by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas about the escalating crisis at the southern border, and warning that Biden administration policies are fueling it -- days after Mayorkas denied that there was a crisis at all. Reps. Andy Biggs and Brian Babin, who are the heads of the Congressional Border Security Caucus, wrote to Mayorkas requesting a briefing on the administration’s plans to address what they see as a crisis. Meanwhile, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have been releasing migrants into the interior -- a practice ended by the Trump administration. REP. BIGGS, CO-CHAIR OF BORDER SECURITY CAUCUS, SAYS ISSUE IS UNITING CONSERVATIVESBut Mayorkas on Monday denied there was a crisis at all, instead describing it as a "challenge for the government, non-governmental organizations and border communities. The lawmakers request a meeting in-person with Mayorkas "as soon as possible to discuss the growing crisis at the southern border."
Max Burns Golden Trump statue at CPAC implies he's king of the GOP. But his position isn't secure.
       
The fracturing MAGA base is big trouble for the former president — and an opportunity for Trump proteges like Florida Gov. And while CPAC attendees may represent an extreme fringe of the GOP, that fringe tracks with the broader party mood. And Trump’s declining popularity indicates that what Republican voters find unpalatable is Trump himself. With the votes to pass any legislation they want, DeSantis and Florida Republicans can credibly claim to be a more effective, less distracting version of Trump. Trump will remain a vengeful voice within the GOP even if he forgos a third campaign for the White House.
ICC prosecutor to probe war crimes in Palestinian Territories, angering Israel
       
THE HAGUE (Reuters) - The International Criminal Court prosecutor said on Wednesday her office will formally investigate war crimes in the Palestinian Territories, a move welcomed by the Palestinian Authority and denounced by Israel. She named both the Israel Defense Forces and armed Palestinian groups such as Hamas as possible perpetrators. The next step will be to determine whether Israel or Palestinian authorities have investigations themselves and to assess those efforts. “We welcome the ICC decision to investigate Israeli occupation war crimes against our people. It is a step forward on the path of achieving justice,” said Hazem Qassem, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza.
Police disclose possible plot by militia group to attack U.S. Capitol
       
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The police force that guards the U.S. Capitol said on Wednesday it has obtained intelligence pointing to a possible plot by a militia group to breach the building on Thursday, an alleged plan with echoes of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. “The United States Capitol Police Department is aware of and prepared for any potential threats towards members of Congress or towards the Capitol complex,” it said in its statement. On Tuesday, Acting House Sergeant at Arms Timothy Blodgett notified members of Congress of a possible security threat spanning Thursday through Saturday. Since Jan. 6, National Guard troops have been dispatched to the Capitol grounds and tall fencing has been erected to extend the security perimeter of the Capitol. Blodgett told lawmakers that the Capitol Police department has “enhanced” its security posture for the coming days.
Extremists discussed plans to 'remove Democratic lawmakers': FBI-Homeland Security bulletin
       
The bulletin, titled "National Capital Region Remains Attractive Target for Domestic Violent Extremists," warned that "Domestic Violent Extremists" or "Militia Violent Extremists" were emboldened by the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and therefore pose a higher overall threat. The bulletin said the militia violent extremists may "exploit public gatherings either formally organized or spontaneous to engage in violence," according to the description of the document. It also states that domestic violent extremists have a continued "perception of election fraud and other conspiracy theories associated with the presidential transition, which may contribute to (Domestic Violent Extremists) mobilizing to violence with little or no warning." The law enforcement official said the bulletin makes clear that "the threat did not begin or end on January 6." NBC News reported Tuesday that law enforcement agencies around Washington, D.C., were adding extra security out of concern of potential unrest.
Ronny Jackson 'Bullied' Subordinates And Broke Alcohol Rules, Pentagon Report Finds
       
When the woman woke up and answered the door, Jackson told her, "I need you," according to the Pentagon report. After another staff member also came into the hallway, the report adds, Jackson insisted they all go to his hotel room. The Pentagon report was sparked by a raft of allegations that surfaced in 2018, when Trump nominated Jackson to be secretary of Veterans Affairs. The accusations led to today's Pentagon report — but they did not halt Jackson's political career: the Republican was elected to Congress last November, representing a district in the Texas Panhandle. As it issued its findings, the Pentagon inspector general's office cautioned that it had been prevented from handling the case as it normally would, citing interference from the White House.
Capitol Police Warns Of Another Possible Right-Wing Attack On Congress
       
Capitol Police Warns Of Another Possible Right-Wing Attack On CongressEnlarge this image toggle caption Jacquelyn Martin/AP Jacquelyn Martin/APThe U.S. Capitol Police says that it is aware of a threat by an unidentified militia group to breach the Capitol complex on Thursday. March 4 is a significant date for far-right conspiracy theorists who believe former President Donald Trump will return to power then. That was the original date for presidential inaugurations until 1937, after the adoption of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution. The threat comes nearly two months after extremist Trump supporters broke into the Capitol — forcing lawmakers and the vice president to flee moments ahead of an angry mob. Capitol Police was "aware of and prepared for any potential threats towards members of Congress or towards the Capitol complex," it said.
Keith Olbermann's Hot Take On Texas Lifting COVID-19 Restrictions Goes Down In Flames
       
AxiosIn some of his most extensive remarks since Jan. 6, former Vice President Mike Pence wrote an op-ed Wednesday condemning House Democrats' sweeping election and anti-corruption proposal as an "unconstitutional power grab" by "leftists. Subscribe for free.The big picture: Writing in The Daily Signal, Pence repeated dubious claims that the 2020 election was "marked by significant voting irregularities. "Leftists not only want you powerless at the ballot box," wrote the former vice president, "they want to silence and censor anyone who would dare to criticize their unconstitutional power grab. He wrote that the bill "mandates the most questionable and abuse-prone election rules nationwide, while banning commonsense measures to detect, deter, and prosecute election fraud. "Go deeper: Democrats' sweeping reform bill Like this article?
White House agrees to reduce Americans eligible for checks in next COVID relief bill, reports say
       
The White House has signed off on a proposal from centrist Democrats in Congress to reduce the number of people receiving the next round of checks, per multiple reports. President Biden speaks at the White House on Tuesday. According to reports, the White House refused to lower the payments from $400 per week to $300 per week, as requested by moderate lawmakers. The White House counters that the $1,400 checks included in its current package comes out to $2,000 when it is added to the $600 checks passed by the last Congress in December. The survey also found that 58 percent supported raising the minimum wage — a provision that has been stripped from the current relief package, to the chagrin of progressives — compared with 31 percent who opposed doing so.
D.C. National Guard chief: Pentagon dragged its feet on Jan. 6 backup
       
Walker said he received Sund’s call for aid at 1:49 p.m. and raced to send the request to senior Pentagon officials. “Consequently, at 5:20pm (in under 20 minutes) the District of Columbia National Guard arrived at the Capitol,” Walker wrote. Flynn is the brother of former Trump national security adviser MIchael Flynn — a leading proponent for overturning the results of the election. Instead of seeking a robust National Guard presence in advance, those former Capitol security officials said they asked Walker to simply be ready should they need him. Also at issue is the intelligence assessment that led Capitol security officials to dismiss the need for preemptive National Guard support.
Pence slams Democratic voting reform bill HR 1 as an 'unconstitutional power grab'
       
Megan Varner/Getty ImagesMike Pence criticized the Democratic HR 1 voting reform bill as "unconstitutional power grab." Pence says that "election reform must be undertaken at the state level." The former vice president is slowly emerging back into the political world. Former Vice President Mike Pence came out swinging on Wednesday, writing an op-ed that criticized House Democrats' sweeping election reform bill as "unconstitutional power grab." "Election reform is a national imperative, but under our Constitution, election reform must be undertaken at the state level," he wrote.
Far-right militia group plotting to ‘breach’ the US Capitol on March 4, police warn
       
“We have obtained intelligence that shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group on Thursday, March 4,” the US Capitol police said in a statement on Wednesday. That security bulletin names the far-right militia the “Three Percenters” as posing a threat. The vague but ongoing threats of violence underscore the difficult decisions confronting officials at the Capitol for balancing security, government transparency, and patriotic tourism. At a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing with Capitol security officials last week, Senator Angus King highlighted the dilemma facing members and those responsible for their safety. We want security, but I would hate to see the US Capitol turned into a fortress.”Read MoreWhite supremacists on par with Isis as ‘top threat,’ FBI director says at Capitol riot hearingFive key takeaways from FBI director Wray’s grilling at Capitol riot hearingFeds oppose release of Arizona man who wore horns in riotThe Latest: FBI chief calls Capitol riot domestic terrorismFBI chief to face questions on extremism, Capitol riot
Anti-Asian slur spray-painted on couple’s car while they were at movie, Georgia cops say
       
A Georgia couple’s night at the movies was soured after they returned to find an anti-Asian slur scrawled across their car. Got in the car,” Bounphengsy told FOX 5 of the Feb. 26 incident. “I don’t have problems with nobody, my husband doesn’t have problems with nobody,” Siharath told WGCL-TV. Stop AAPI Hate, an organization that tracks hate crimes against Asian American Pacific Islander communities, said it received over 2,800 reports of hate incidents between mid-March and December 2020. Anyone with information on the incident in Suwanee is asked to contact the police department at 770-904-7627.
DC National Guard commander says it took more than 3 hours for Trump's Pentagon to tell him to send in troops to respond to the Capitol riot
       
National Guard troops assemble outside of the U.S. Capitol on January 16, 2021 in Washington, DC Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty ImagesThe DC National Guard commander says that the Pentagon dragged its feet responding to the Capitol riot. He said he did not receive approval to deploy troops to the Capitol until almost 3 hours after an initial request. The commander of the DC National Guard said Wednesday that it took military leaders in former President Donald Trump's Pentagon three hours from the time Capitol Police called for backup to tell him to send in troops to respond to the Jan. 6 assault on the US Capitol by a pro-Trump mob. Samuel Corum/Getty ImagesWalker said that he immediately relayed the request for National Guard support to senior Army leadership and quickly readied available forces. He did not get approval to deploy Guard troops from Army leadership until 5:08 pm, hours after the violent mob had breached the Capitol.
Capitol Police warn militia group may be planning to breach the Capitol on Thursday
       
Nearly two months after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol building, officials are warning a militia group may be plotting another breach. The U.S. Capitol Police said Wednesday it has obtained intelligence "that shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group" on March 4. "Our department is working with our local, state, and federal partners to stop any threats to the Capitol," Capitol Police said. Officials previously said they would "enhance our security posture and staffing for a number of days, to include March 4," due to "concerning information and intelligence" surrounding that date, ABC News reports. Because of this, Pittman said it's necessary for Capitol Police to "maintain its enhanced and robust security posture," including fencing and National Guard presence.
Insurer Oscar Health Falls in First Day of Trading
       
Oscar Health shares dropped in their first day of trading. Shares of Oscar Health (OSCR) - Get Report dropped in Wednesday trading, having debuted at $36 a share, which was below the company's revised expectations. On Tuesday, Oscar Health said it expected to sell 30.35 million Class A common shares at $36 to $38 each. Oscar Health had 529,000 members as of January 2021. Joshua Kushner, the brother of former Trump administration adviser Jared Kushner, has 75% control of Oscar Health through his Thrive Capital venture firm.
Police uncover ‘possible plot’ by militia to breach Capitol on Thursday
       
Police were ill prepared for the mass of Trump supporters in tactical gear, some armed, and it took hours for National Guard reinforcements to come. WASHINGTON (AP) — Capitol Police say they have uncovered intelligence of a “possible plot” by a militia group to breach the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, nearly two months after a mob of supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the iconic building to try to stop Congress from certifying now-President Joe Biden’s victory. “The United States Capitol Police Department is aware of and prepared for any potential threats towards members of Congress or towards the Capitol complex,” the agency said in a statement. “We have obtained intelligence that shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group on Thursday, March 4.” Police did not identify the militia group in the statement. He was impeached by the House after the Jan. 6 riot on a c harge of incitement of insurrection but was acquitted by the Senate.
Biden health pick taking heat for support of abortion rights
       
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s pick for health secretary is taking heat from Republicans for his actions in support of abortion rights. It’s a test, too, for national groups opposed to abortion, trying to deny a president who favors abortion rights his choice to run the Department of Health and Human Services. Becerra is paying a price for defending, as California attorney general, some of the nation’s most liberal laws and policies on abortion rights. Becerra, 63, was a reliable Democratic vote for abortion rights during more than 20 years representing a Los Angeles-area district in the U.S. House. She disagrees with his support for abortion rights, but finds common ground elsewhere.
Pentagon hesitated on sending Guard to Capitol riot: General
       
Guard troops who had been waiting on buses were then rushed to the Capitol. That delay stood in contrast to the immediate approval for National Guard support granted in response to the civil unrest that roiled American cities last spring as an outgrowth of racial justice protests, Walker said. As local officials pleaded for help, Army officials raised concerns about the optics of a substantial National Guard presence at the Capitol, he said. Senators were eager to grill officials from the Pentagon, the National Guard and the Justice and Homeland Security departments about their preparations for that day. The hearing comes as thousands of National Guard troops are still patrolling the fenced-in Capitol and as multiple committees across Congress are launching investigations into mistakes made on Jan. 6.
$1,400 stimulus check: Democrats OK tighter income limits for COVID-19 relief
       
The COVID-19 relief measure Senate Democrats planned to unveil will also retain the $400 weekly emergency jobless benefits that were included in a House-approved version of the legislation, the official said. The Senate bill was expected to largely mirror the House-approved package, with the most glaring divergence the Senate’s dropping of language boosting the federal minimum wage to $15 hourly. Democrats’ push to include it in later legislation suggested an effort to satisfy progressives while avoiding jeopardizing the current package. Progressives, though, were still smarting over the virtual certainty that the Senate bill will lack the minimum wage boost, up from $7.25 hourly locked in since 2009. Opposition by moderates including Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., has left Democrats without the votes needed to salvage it.
A ‘possible plot’ by militia to breach the U.S. Capitol on March 4 has been discovered by the Capitol Police. It’s tied to a QAnon conspiracy theory
       
By MICHAEL BALSAMO, Associated PressWASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Capitol Police say they have intelligence showing there is a “possible plot” by a militia group to breach the U.S. Capitol on Thursday. The revelation was detailed in a statement from the Capitol Police. It comes at the same time the acting police chief is testifying before a House subcommittee. So far, about 300 people have been charged with federal crimes for their roles in the riot. Many of the accounts that helped promote and organize the Jan. 6 riots on platforms like Facebook and Twitter have since been suspended, making it more difficult for the groups to organize.
Police uncover ‘possible plot’ by militia to breach Capitol
       
Michael BalsamoAssociated PressWashington – The U.S. Capitol Police say they have intelligence showing there is a “possible plot” by a militia group to breach the U.S. Capitol on Thursday. The revelation was detailed in a statement from the Capitol Police. “The United States Capitol Police Department is aware of and prepared for any potential threats towards members of Congress or towards the Capitol complex,” the agency said in a statement. Capitol Police say that they have stepped up security around the Capitol complex since January’s insurrection, adding physical security measures such as the fencing topped with razor wire around the Capitol and members of the National Guard who remain at the complex. The statement said the agency was “taking the intelligence seriously” but provided no other specific details on the threat.
Voting company sues Fox, Giuliani over election fraud claims
       
MIAMI (AP) — A voting technology company is suing Fox News, three of its hosts and two former lawyers for former President Donald Trump — Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell — for $2.7 billion, charging that the defendants conspired to spread false claims that the company helped “steal” the U.S. presidential election. On Jan. 25, a rival election-technology company — Dominion Voting Systems, which was also ensnared in Trump's baseless effort to overturn the election — sued Guiliani and Powell for $1.3 billion. Unlike Dominion, whose technology was used in 24 states, Smartmatic's participation in the 2020 election was restricted to Los Angeles County, which votes heavily Democratic. Smartmatic's limited role notwithstanding, Fox aired at least 13 reports falsely stating or implying the company had stolen the 2020 vote in cahoots with Venezuela's socialist government, according to the complaint. This alleged “disinformation campaign” continued even after then-Attorney General William Barr said the Department of Justice could find no evidence of widespread voter fraud.
Voting company sues Fox, Giuliani over election fraud claims
       
MIAMI — A voting technology company is suing Fox News, three of its hosts and two former lawyers for former President Donald Trump — Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell — for $2.7 billion, charging that the defendants conspired to spread false claims that the company helped “steal” the U.S. presidential election. The 285-page complaint filed Thursday in New York state court by Florida-based Smartmatic USA is one of the largest libel suits ever undertaken. On Jan. 25, a rival election-technology company — Dominion Voting Systems, which wasalso ensnared in Trump’s baseless effort to overturn the election — sued Guiliani and Powell for $1.3 billion. Unlike Dominion, whose technology was used in 24 states, Smartmatic’s participation in the 2020 election was restricted to Los Angeles County, which votes heavily Democratic.
Mavs' Cuban relents on anthem after NBA reiterates policy
       
DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban relented Wednesday and the national anthem will be played before home games this season after the NBA reiterated its “longstanding league policy” to include the song. Most teams don't have fans at home games. But the NBA abruptly reversed course with Cuban's decision reverberating around the country, including a question put to White House press secretary Jen Psaki during her daily briefing. Athlete protests of social and racial injustice during the “The Star-Spangled Banner” became a flashpoint between then-President Donald Trump and various leagues during his administration. “With NBA teams now in the process of welcoming fans back into their arenas, all teams will play the national anthem in keeping with longstanding league policy,” the league said.
Lankford, Inhofe vote against Senate trial of Trump
       
Jim Inhofe and James Lankford, both Republicans, voted against allowing the Senate to hold the trial of Trump. Lankford said, “You cannot vote to remove someone from office who is not even in office. This is nonsense and sets a terrible precedent for the future. In Trump’s case, “it’s impossible to remove someone from office when he is already gone,” Lankford said. “This impeachment trial is clearly unconstitutional.”
Live politics updates: Historic second Trump impeachment trial begins
       
WASHINGTON – The second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump begins Tuesday with a debate over whether the proceeding is constitutional because Trump is no longer in office. The debate marks the beginning of a historic trial, not only because Trump is the first president to be impeached twice, but because he stands trial after he left office. The House impeached Trump nearly a month ago, charging him with inciting the deadly riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6. Senate leaders set aside four hours Tuesday to hear both sides debate the constitutional argument raised by Trump and Republicans. Follow live coverage of the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump here.
Trump acquitted, confusion over witnesses: Top takeaways from impeachment trial's last day
       
WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial closed on Saturday with an overwhelming party-line vote to acquit Trump, after the trial was thrown for a loop in the morning with confusion over potential witnesses. The Senate voted 57-43 to acquit Trump, with just seven Republicans siding with all Democrats and independents, falling short of the 67 votes needed to convict. The vote came after confusion on how to proceed after the Senate unexpectedly voted to call witnesses. The move would have lengthened the trial, but was reversed after both sides agreed to instead enter the congresswoman's statement into evidence. House impeachment managers and Trump’s lawyers argued their cases over three days, with the prosecution arguing there is clear evidence Trump incited the violent Capitol riot on Jan. 6 and the defense saying the president’s political speech was protected by the First Amendment.
Donald Trump impeachment trial ends: Senate votes not guilty, acquits former president
       
The Senate has acquitted Donald Trump of inciting the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, bringing his trial to a close and giving the former president a historic second victory in the court of impeachment. Trump is the first president to be impeached twice, and he is also now twice acquitted as the majority of Republicans defended his actions. Democrats argued that Trump had “obvious intent” as he egged on supporters they said were primed for violence. Trump’s lawyers argued that the trial was brought on by Democrats’ “hatred” of Trump and that it was unconstitutional because he had left office. And they argued that Trump was protected by freedom of speech and to convict him for something he said would set a dangerous precedent.
Rush Limbaugh, conservative radio titan, has died of lung cancer at age 70
       
Rush Limbaugh, the talk titan who made right-wing radio financially viable in American media and himself a Republican kingmaker years before Fox News has died, after he revealed in 2020 that his lung cancer was terminal. His death was confirmed by his wife, Kathryn, at the beginning of Limbaugh's Thursday radio show, from which he's been absent for almost two weeks. A longtime cigar smoker who stocked the humidors in his homes and studios with the finest, Limbaugh succumbed to cancer after battling drug addiction and loss of hearing earlier in his career (he was deaf by the end and broadcast his daily show in spite of it). A Republican conservative and die-hard supporter of former President Donald Trump to the end, Limbaugh was among Trump's most important enablers of his failed effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election with baseless claims of voting fraud.
'My life could've been completely different'
       
Margarita Arvizu knew the pain of family separation long before the Trump administration took the practice to an extreme at the U.S./Mexico border. Her husband self-deported to Ciudad Juarez in 2012 on the orders of immigration officers when it was clear there was no legal path for him to stay with his family in El Paso. “Our children missed their father’s presence at their high school and college graduations, on their birthdays, and at their weddings,” Arvizu said. “It’s been very, very difficult for me and my children.”The family came to El Paso from Juarez 24 years ago with temporary border crossing permits after Arvizu’s husband got a job offer in a mechanic's shop. Eventually they bought a mobile home and put it on a square of land outside the city limits.
Oklahoma bill would undercut independence of OKC, Tulsa Health departments
       
A state lawmaker wants Oklahoma’s commissioner of health to be able to recommend firing the directors of the Oklahoma City-County and Tulsa Health departments. The legislation from Rep. Chris Kannady, R-Oklahoma City, comes after the independent health departments have occasionally challenged the State Department of Health's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Bruce Dart, director of the Tulsa Health Department, warned in June that a Tulsa campaign rally for then-President Donald Trump could become a COVID-19 “super spreader” event. He also said he wished the campaign rally could be postponed to a later date when the city wasn’t seeing rising COVID-19 infections. More recently, when the State Department of Health allowed school districts with mask mandates to waive quarantines for students and staff who had a COVID-19 exposure, the Oklahoma City-County Health Department recommended local districts continue quarantining exposed students and employees.
Oklahoma attorney general hires outgoing US attorney
       
Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter announced he's planning to hire outgoing U.S. Attorney Tim Downing for a new position in his office. Hunter said Downing will serve as his associate attorney general, an advisory role that is part of the office's senior leadership team. Downing is a former Republican state legislator appointed by former President Donald Trump as the U.S. attorney based in Oklahoma City. He also previously worked in the state attorney general's office from 2011 to 2016. Downing announced earlier this month his plans to resign from his U.S. attorney post, which is considered customary when a new president is elected.
The Latest: Senate names new sergeant at arms after riot
       
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Wednesday that retired Lt. Gen. Karen Gibson will take charge of the chamber's administration and security. She'll head the first all-female leadership team at the Office of the Sergeant at Arms in its 223-year history. The Senate has named a veteran intelligence official as the new sergeant at arms, a crucial position after the Jan. 6 siege of the Capitol and the ouster of the previous official. Gibson will take over from Jennifer Hemingway, who temporarily filled the position after the resignation of Michael Stenger after the riot. Longtime Schumer aide Kelly Fado will become deputy sergeant at arms, and Hemingway will serve as the office’s chief of staff.
Coronavirus, explained: Everything to know about COVID-19, the deadly virus alarming the world
       
What is the COVID-19 virus? However, confirmed coronavirus cases boomed this month as China altered its method for counting amid concerns over its handling of the crisis. Most coronavirus cases reported to date "have been milder, with about 20% of those infected experiencing severe illness," the WHO said. Coronavirus explained: Why tracking the deadly disease is a huge challenge Coronavirus has spread from Wuhan, China, to countries across the world. In Austria, the Grand Hotel Europa temporarily closed Tuesday following two confirmed coronavirus cases.
Police uncover ‘possible plot’ by militia to breach Capitol
       
WASHINGTON (AP) — Capitol Police say they have uncovered intelligence of a “possible plot” by a militia group to breach the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, nearly two months after a mob of supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the iconic building to try to stop Congress from certifying now-President Joe Biden's victory. The threat appears to be connected to a far-right conspiracy theory, mainly promoted by supporters of QAnon, that Trump will rise again to power on March 4. Police were ill prepared for the mass of Trump supporters in tactical gear, some armed, and it took hours for National Guard reinforcements to come. “The United States Capitol Police Department is aware of and prepared for any potential threats towards members of Congress or towards the Capitol complex,” the agency said in a statement. “We have obtained intelligence that shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group on Thursday, March 4.” Police did not identify the militia group in the statement.
Police uncover ‘possible plot’ by militia to breach Capitol
       
The acting House sergeant-at-arms this week sent an earlier advisory saying that Capitol Police had “no indication that groups will travel to Washington D.C. to protest or commit acts of violence.” But officials revised their guidance after Capitol Police received “new and concerning” information and intelligence. In her testimony to the House panel, acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said her investigators had collected “some concerning intelligence,” but declined to provide any details publicly, saying that it was “law enforcement sensitive” and that she would provide a private briefing for the subcommittee members. There has been a noticeable decline in online activity on some social media platforms surrounding efforts on March 4, and there was already considerably less online chatter than during the lead-up to Jan. 6, a day that Trump repeatedly had promoted for a his rally and encouraged thousands to come to the nation's capital. Also, thousands of accounts that promoted the Jan. 6 event that led to a violent storming of the U.S. Capitol have since been suspended by major tech companies like Facebook and Twitter, making it far more difficult for QAnon and far-right groups to organize a repeat of the mass gathering on Thursday.
Police uncover ‘possible plot’ by militia to breach Capitol on Thursday
       
The announcement comes as the Capitol police and other law enforcement agencies are taking heat from Congress in contentious hearings this week on their handling of the Jan. 6 riot. Police were ill prepared for the mass of Trump supporters in tactical gear, some armed, and it took hours for National Guard reinforcements to come. “The United States Capitol Police Department is aware of and prepared for any potential threats towards members of Congress or towards the Capitol complex,” the agency said in a statement. “We have obtained intelligence that shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group on Thursday, March 4.” Police did not identify the militia group in the statement. He was impeached by the House after the Jan. 6 riot on a c harge of incitement of insurrection but was acquitted by the Senate.
Senate Finance panel OKs Tai as top U.S. trade negotiator
       
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Finance Committee easily approved President Joe Biden's pick to be America's top trade negotiator. The panel on Wednesday confirmed Katherine Tai to be U.S. trade representative on a voice vote. Her nomination, which has received strong bipartisan support, will now go to the full Senate for approval. Tai has promised to make sure that U.S. trade policy benefits America's workers, not just corporations, and to work more closely with U.S. allies to counter an increasingly assertive China. Fluent in Mandarin, Tai spent several years as the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative's head of China enforcement.
Scramble on to replace Neera Tanden after nomination met perfect storm
       
Tanden added that she appreciated “how hard you and your team at the White House has worked to win my confirmation”. Sanders, the chairman of one of the committees charged with handling Tanden’s nomination, also questioned large corporate and foreign donations to the Center for American Progress. Senator Bernie Sanders, chair of the Senate budget committee, cited Neera Tanden’s ‘vicious attacks against progressives’. Biden’s chief of staff, Ron Klain, said the White House was “fighting our guts out” to get Tanden confirmed and the US Chamber of Commerce backed her as well. Whoever the White House nominates is poised to have an easier confirmation process than Tanden.
Creator of CPAC golden Trump statue admits it was made in China, after saying Mexico
       
The golden Donald Trump statue that appeared at last week’s conference for the country’s conservatives was actually made in China — rather than Mexico — the creator reportedly admitted. Artist Tommy Zegan told reporters last week that the six foot statue of the former US president was assembled in Mexico — a country routinely belittled by Mr Trump. Please enter your email address Please enter a valid email address Please enter a valid email address SIGN UP Thanks for signing up to the Inside Washington newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. Read our privacy notice Thanks for signing up to the Inside Washington newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. "Two years ago, when I saw all those statues of naked Trump and Trump on a toilet, I said, 'You know what?
‘These lies almost got you lynched’: Mike Pence criticised after breaking silence to oppose voting rights law
       
Mike Pence has broken his silence for the first time since he left office on 20 January by writing an article in which he opposes voting rights legislation being considered by Congress. Please enter your email address Please enter a valid email address Please enter a valid email address SIGN UP Thanks for signing up to the Inside Washington newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. Read our privacy notice Thanks for signing up to the Inside Washington newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. It would also mandate independent redistricting to lessen the influence of gerrymandering, increase election security, and require presidential candidates to release their tax returns, among other measures to increase transparency. Both Donald Trump and Joe Biden subsequently received a record number of votes, 74 million and 81 million respectively.
Rush Limbaugh’s wife says he was ‘just shy of a president’ in on-air tribute to broadcaster
       
Kathryn Limbaugh, the widow of conservative firebrand and powerful radio host Rush Limbaugh, said that her late husband was “just shy of a president,” in her opinion. Mr Limbaugh died on 17 February after a battle with lung cancer at the age of 70. Please enter your email address Please enter a valid email address Please enter a valid email address SIGN UP Thanks for signing up to the News newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. Read our privacy notice Thanks for signing up to the News newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. ? Rush Limbaugh given Medal of Freedom by Melania Trump during State of the Union
US police uncover 'possible plot' by militia group to breach Capitol on Thursday
       
Police say they have intelligence showing a “possible plot” by a militia group to breach the US Capitol on Thursday. A US Capitol Police statement did not name the organisation but called it "an identified militia group". "We have obtained intelligence that shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group on Thursday March 4." AdvertisementThe statement said the agency was "taking the intelligence seriously" but provided no other specific details on the threat. So far, around 300 people have been charged with federal crimes for their roles in the riot and five people, including Brian Sicknick a Capitol Police officer, died.
Golden Trump statue at CPAC was actually made in China
       
The golden statue of former President Donald Trump that was rolled into last weekend's Conservative Political Action Conference was made in China - not Mexico. Mendoza said Zegan's name was used because 'no one is going to buy "Jose" stuff, at least not a Donald Trump statue.' The golden Trump is holding up a magic wand, which former President Barack Obama once said would be needed to bring back manufacturing jobs, an idea Trump ridiculed while in office. A number of people online saw parallels between the golden Trump statue and the Biblical story of the golden calf, which teaches Christians not to worship idols. 'Idol worship isn’t conservative,' tweeted Rep. Adam Kinzinger, linking to an article about the Trump statue.
Las Vegas Sands Corp. sells Venetian, Expo Center for $6.25 billion to focus on business in Asia
       
Las Vegas Sands Corp. is selling the iconic Venetian resort and its Sands Expo and Convention Center for $6.25 billion, withdrawing from gambling operations on the Las Vegas Strip to focus on its casinos in Asia. Under the two-part deal announced Wednesday, VICI Properties will buy the casino and resort and all assets associated with the Venetian Resort Las Vegas and the Sands Expo for $4 billion. After explosive growth in Las Vegas, Adelson turned his eye to Asia. The Venetian, located on the Las Vegas Strip, has three luxury hotel towers with gaming, entertainment, shopping and dining. Former Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson passed away in January at the age of 87At one point, Adelson was the third-richest man in the entire world.
“Danger Warning”: Women Say Madison Cawthorn Harassed Them In College
       
Four women told BuzzFeed News that Cawthorn, now a rising Republican star, was aggressive, misogynistic, or predatory toward them. More than 20 former Patrick Henry students told BuzzFeed News that Cawthorn harassed his women classmates. Petree told BuzzFeed News that Cawthorn persisted for weeks, despite her repeatedly reminding him that she had a boyfriend. At that point he tries to kiss me and I say no,” Krulikas, now 23, told BuzzFeed News. You can’t sexually harass my daughter.” “Why don’t you touch me like you touched my daughter?” she said she told Bock.
Biden's Cabinet, hailed for diversity, slow to be confirmed
       
Among Mr. Biden’s 23 nominees with Cabinet rank, just 13 have been confirmed by the Senate, or a little over half. And among the 15 core nominees to lead federal agencies, 10 have been confirmed, or two-thirds. According to the Center for Presidential Transition, about a month into their first terms, the previous four presidents had 84% of their core Cabinet picks confirmed. That must change.”The Biden administration has prioritized confirming those nominees who are key to national security, the economy, and public health decisions. The Biden administration has not been completely hamstrung by the slow pace of confirmations, however.
Van Jones and Meghan McCain’s Centrist Manifesto Doesn’t Have Answers
       
Back in 2011, Politico asked its readers to nominate and vote on independent candidates ahead of the upcoming presidential election. “The public has had it with Washington and conventional politics,” VandeHei and Allen began, continuing:It has lost trust and respect in the conventional governing class. Though independent presidential candidates rarely enjoy any success, there was definitely something to the general spirit of this statement. Which brings us to The Reunited States, a new documentary directed by Ben Rekhi and co-produced by CNN pundit Van Jones and daytime TV heel Meghan McCain that debuted earlier this month. Nevertheless, the disparate nature of its various plotlines and the relentless way it pummels the same bland idea render The Reunited States a decidedly less than enjoyable sit.
Frustration is growing over the obstacles Biden's nominees of color are facing
       
But now the slow and contentious process of getting some of his top picks confirmed is leading progressive groups to question whether his nominees of color are facing a higher level of scrutiny than White male nominees of past administrations. But there is a growing sense of frustration about the obstacles that some of these nominees are facing. As women, we're exhausted by this, and as women of color, we see this consistently." attorney general, is being Two women of color whom Biden has nominated for top posts at the Justice Department are also facing intense scrutiny. 'It just smacks of a different standard'Advocates say these nominees are facing heightened scrutiny.
Biden Is Following a Failed Blueprint for Forever War
       
Last week, the U.S. military bombed a site near al-Hurri, along the Iraqi border inside Syria, where Iranian-backed Iraqi militias were allegedly stationed. The U.S. military first intervened in Syria in 2014 following the Islamic State’s takeover of the country’s Eastern territories, along with the Northern and Western areas of Iraq. The same can be said of the recent rocket attacks that provoked the Biden administration’s deadly response in Syria. Iraqi militias pose no danger to the people of Baltimore, Maryland or Little Rock, Arkansas, and Baghdad does not demand an American military presence. Anything less is a formula for forever war, ever more.
With Biden Administration Refusing to Act, Its Time to Take Mohammed bin Salman to Court
       
Despite the findings in the ODNI report, the Biden Administration chose to impose no sanction on him. As Congress pressured the administration to release the ODNI report, they will try to force Biden to hold MBS accountable. The ODNI report also confirms the core underlying factual claim made by plaintiffs in the Khashoggi case: MBS was responsible for Khashoggi’s murder. RSF relies on Germany’s universal jurisdiction laws that allow a German court to try MBS for crimes committed elsewhere. The Biden administration’s inaction certainly did not create incentives for MBS to temper his abuses.
John Kerry Tells Big Oil to Stop Resisting Energy Transition or "You’re Going to End up on the Wrong Side of This Battle."
       
This week witnesses one of the most influential and largest oil industry conferences take place, called CERAWeek. Normally, the crème de la crèmeof the oil industry descend on Houston for a pro-fossil fuel frenzy. “The tone is different: There’s one theme that permeates the entire conference and that is energy transition,” CERAWeek Founder Dan Yergin, vice chair of IHS Markit told Reuters. Another speaker, Andy Jassy of Amazon, said the industry is better off helping to shape the energy transition than wishing it away. Yesterday leading energy experts outlined how renewable energy could also be the sole source for the world’s heating, cooling, and transport industries by 2035.
'Madness': In Cave to Right-Wing Dems, Biden Agrees to Further Limit Eligibility for Direct Payments
       
In the face of pressure from a faction of conservative Senate Democrats, President Joe Biden reportedly agreed Wednesday to limit eligibility for direct relief payments by accelerating the phase-out of $1,400 checks proposed in the emerging $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. The House bill proposes (pdf) ending the phase-out at $100,000 in yearly income for individuals and $200,000 for couples. Among the Senate Democrats who pushed for the quicker phase-out were Sens. Under the House relief bill, the IRS would be directed to base eligibility for the payments on 2020 income for those whose returns are on file. "This is not targeting," Matt Bruenig, founder of the People's Policy Project, said last month of earlier efforts to restrict eligibility.
Cheers and Jeers: Wednesday
       
-Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, March 3, 2021Note: Lawyers rush to scene after baker's man refuses to play pattycake on religious grounds. -CHEERS to the left making things right. CHEERS to making it through the first hurdle. CHEERS and JEERS to making cents (and also losing them). CHEERS to fun things a president can do as his country disintegrates from a Great Depression.
Kagro in the Morning is LIVE at 9 AM ET!
       
The days are flying by without Trump causing us to tear our hair out every day! Work continues in the Senate on the reconciliation bill, and in the House on the For the People Act. Greg Dworkin brings his usual mid-week Raft o’ Stories,™ and I continue to operate on 15 minutes of sleep. Listen right here at 9:00 AM ET! Even more ways to listen, live or by podcast, below the fold.
Gas, Pipelines Are A Cure For Poverty, Says OpEd By Gas, Pipeline Proponent In RealClearEnergy
       
Was the vague-sounding Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure a misguided outfit of well-meaning engineers and infrastructure experts? Or just another front for the oil and gas industry hiding behind glossy stock photos? That the piece appeared in RealClear gave us reason to suspect the latter, and we started poking around the organization’s website. But the very last sentence does say that he’s also the chief executive of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System. So it’s a vaguely-named organization with unusual succession practices formerly run by a current oil pipeline executive, and currently delivering pro-pipeline propaganda in a key outlet in the Koch et al.
Pence would literally sell his soul to the Devil to have Trump ordain him as successor
       
This is where Mike Pence published “Election Integrity Is a National Imperative.” I'd expected a former Vice President to have an essay like this published in a mainstream publication. Does anybody have any doubt that Pence would do anything to get Trump to ordain him as the next in line to succeed him? In reality it is merely an excuse for Pence to interject himself into the public discourse and ingratiate himself to Trump. So Pence succeeded in getting a lot of coverage when he broke his silence on a website most people don’t read. He uses the word fraud five times:The PollTo what degree do you think Pence really "worships" Trump vs.
These 19 House districts flipped parties in the 2020 presidential election
       
Unlike four years ago when Trump flipped many districts with large populations of white voters without a college degree, the two districts that Trump picked up this time both have large populations of Latino voters, a demographic that shifted sharply back toward Republicans in 2020 after giving Clinton historically high levels of support four years earlier. Texas’ 23rd stands out in particular because it flipped twice over the last decade, having supported Mitt Romney in 2012. Five districts, meanwhile, showcased the opposite pattern, going for Barack Obama, then Trump, then Biden: Minnesota’s 2nd, Nevada’s 3rd, New Hampshire’s 1st, and New York’s 18th and 19th. In addition to the traditional map above, we have also created a cartogram below that shows every district as the same size so that dense populated districts in urban areas aren’t obscured and rural districts aren’t over-emphasized. You can find the election results for House and president for every district in our 117th Congress guide spreadsheet here, along with a whole host of other demographic statistics on both the districts and the members who represent them.
My February Articles: Xtian Nationalism, Jan 6, Voter Suppression, Bozell, Pence, Ammon Bundy
       
It seems to me that the QAnon and pro-political violence caucus in Congress had two choices after Donald Trump incited the January 6 Save America crowd to storm the Capitol. His son, L. Brent Bozell, Jr., became a flaming anti-communist, a supporter of Senator Joseph McCarthy and The John Birch Society. Perhaps he’s worried that the “Hang Mike Pence” chants that were heard at the Capitol, will resound once again. An obedient toady during the reign of President Donald Trump? A purveyor – up until the very last moments – of The Big Lie that Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election?
The Lie as a Tool in the Toolbox of Evil
       
Even mostly “good” people, deceived into believing a false picture of the world, can be led to serve Evil. But just as the Lie is useful to Evil in making the world more broken, so also do other forms of brokenness make people readier to believe the Lie. But despite how obvious the truth was, three-fourths of the Republican base believe the Big Lie about the Stolen Election. Which raises the question: What makes it possible for otherwise intelligent people to believe so obvious a Lie? Such dynamics can teach people to embrace a lie while blinding themselves to the plain truth before their eyes.
Biden Day Forty-two: First One Hundred Days
       
Threat March 4 on social media of violence. National Guard alerted. An excellent panel led by Sen. Peters of Homeland Securities. General Michael Flynn was last in line for OKing the deployment of the National Guard which was according to Congressman Eric Swalwell a conflict of interest as he was related to Flynn whom Trump pardoned. As for the three hours, the chain of command took to release troops who were watching insurrection on TV as well as President Trump who did nothing to help, it was a bureaucratic sham.
not so Proud Trump supporter allegedly said he was disguising himself as an Antifa member
       
x No evidence for the widespread right-wing lie that Antifa members disguised themselves as Trump supporters for the riot...but the feds have just charged a Trump supporter who allegedly said he was disguising himself as an Antifa member. x In voting rights case, Justice Barrett asks GOP lawyer Michael Carvin “what’s the interest” to Republicans in keeping voting restrictions in AZ. But Brnovich’s two-step test would also severely weaken the Voting Rights Act. And Native American, Hispanic, and African American voters were twice as likely to vote in the wrong precinct as white voters. Or, to give a more realistic example, in 1890, the state of Mississippi enacted a literacy test for voters.
Trumpists believe something, something... 19th POTUS* on March 4 because Hayes-Tilden
       
https://t.co/UQmeDZZyhUThe idiots of QAnon and their Sovereign Citizens fellow travelers want America to be more like Myanmar. The Trump DC hotel has tripled its rates for the dates of and around March 4, because grifting. And at the right time, they’re going to be restoring the republic with Trump as president,” one woman said. "Many of the justifications for those dates stem from worn-out theories that can be traced back to the sovereign citizen movement." (The sovereign citizen movement is an extremist right wing anti-government idea that believes they are not subject to most U.S.
Spring is Coming and Biden is Bringing the Sunshine
       
? Musical Opener ?President Joe Biden Continues to Make Us ProudAs Michael Tomasky said in his column last week, President Joe Biden’s first 30 days has been “staggeringly good”, and he will continue to show us why he is the man for this moment in history. pic.twitter.com/2lzbyyii1g — President Biden (@POTUS) March 1, 2021Biden urges Senate Dems to rally behind $1.9T virus bill, Alan Fram, AP News, March 2, 2021. With Democrats having no margin for error in the evenly split 50-50 Senate, Biden was expected to urge them on by conference call. Raimondo, a Democrat tapped by President Joe Biden, will oversee the Commerce Department and its bureaus, which have about 46,000 employees. ??Perspective; FDR, Johnson and Joe Biden: Democrats Are Learning Fast Why Being in Power Can Suck, Michael Tomasky, The Daily Beast, March 2, 2021.
FOX Staffers Now See The Handwriting On The Wall With Kayleigh McEnany Hire (Mini Goebbels).
       
Fox propaganda finally got around to hiring Trump Sycophant and Liar Kayeigh McEnany, and the grunts at Fox are not happy. And it appears that only maybe now those who work in the trenches at Fox have realized it’s a propaganda outfit? There is more:“It’s upsetting,” a current Fox News staffer lamented to The Daily Beast. Yeah, the management and the opinion people at Fox were bad, but there were others who still believed in facts...blah, blah, blah. And all the people who worked for Fox knew that it was a propaganda outfit long before Trump showed up.
Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: Voter suppression and voting no on everything is a strategy
       
Jennifer Rubin/WaPo:Former chair of the Council on Economic Advisers Jason Furman explains : “States also had unusually high spending needs last year and this year. https://t.co/8YvHACUVF5Kurt Bardella/USA Today:The Republican civil war was over 5 years ago. Trump and the winners have a new target: UsTrump needed only tweets and cowardly Republicans to occupy the party. There is no “Civil War” brewing within the Republican Party. Sure, Republicans probably lose the election to Hillary Clinton in this scenario, but their orthodoxy remains intact.
Morning Digest: Rhode Island has a new governor, but a hard fight looms if he wants to say in office
       
McKee, though, came close to losing renomination in 2018 to progressive state Rep. Aaron Regunberg. There has also been speculation that state House Minority Leader Blake Filippi could also campaign for governor. ? LA-02: Both Democratic state senators competing in the March 20 all-party primary for this safely blue seat received a notable endorsement over the last few days. Mayors? Hialeah, FL Mayor: Republican Mayor Carlos Hernandez is termed-out this year as leader of Hialeah, a longtime GOP bastion that's home to the highest proportion of Cuban Americans in the country, and a familiar name is running to succeed him. ? Minneapolis, MN Mayor: Former state Rep. Kate Knuth announced Tuesday that she would challenge her fellow Democrat, Mayor Jacob Frey, in the November instant-runoff election.
Republican governors throwing states off COVID cliff, and counting on President Biden to catch them
       
Republican governors are essentially pushing their states off the cliff and daring Joe Biden to catch them. That’s because Brazil edged out the United States for that “honor,” racking up 58,000 new cases. Unlike the United States, cases in Brazil show no sign of declining, and in fact are still on the rise. On a total cases per population level, Brazil is still well behind the United States … but then, maybe not. Which may help to explain why the rate of deaths in Brazil is rapidly catching up to the United States, despite well-documented underreporting.
Republican lawyer explains in one sentence why his party wants to make it harder to vote
       
A lawyer for the Arizona Republican Party explained that again in Supreme Court arguments this week. The voting rights bill Democrats are trying to pass, meanwhile, would make it easier for everyone to vote. This is the state of play as McCarthy wants to lecture Democrats on not passing bills to earn voters’ trust? Democracy for everyone vs. partisan efforts to disqualify the other side’s voters. Democrats vs. Republicans.
Supreme Court takes up Trump admin. petition punishing Puerto Rico that Biden promised to end
       
At issue is about $2.3 billion in annual SSI payments that could be going to more than 300,000 poor, blind, and disabled citizens in Puerto Rico. It later extended the program to the Northern Mariana Islands, but not to other territories including Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico gets roughly $36 million for AABD, as well as other adult assistance programs, a figure that hans't changed since fiscal year 1997. Others have chimed in, including the heads of U.S. and Puerto Rico Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, United Church of Christ, Christian (Disciples) and Evangelical churches, and leaders of the National and Puerto Rico Council of Churches, Catholic Charities, the General Bible Society and Jubilee USA Network. Having to provide these benefits to the U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico, Trump's Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall wrote, could make Puerto Rico residents think they could get more federal benefits, like money for a school lunch program and Medicaid.
Australian government under siege as sexual assault allegations escalate
       
Ever-widening allegations of rape involving government ministers or staff members are being used to destabilise the already faction-wracked Liberal-National Coalition government. Liberal Party Senator Sarah Henderson also referred to the Australian Federal Police a complaint she said she had received about a historic sexual allegation relating to a Labor Party shadow minister. Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull asserts that he and his wife Lucy were sent the allegations in 2019. Labor Party foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong and Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, among others, received them last week through anonymous letters sent to their offices. Certainly, the hand of Washington was seen in Turnbull’s removal, as it was in the 2010 backroom Labor Party coup that ousted Kevin Rudd.
FBI Director Wray confirms coordinated planning by pro-Trump far-right terrorists in January 6 attack
       
(AP Photo/John Minchillo)In his testimony Wray confirmed that:Militia “extremists” coordinated and pre-planned the assault on Congress. FBI intelligence reports were disseminated to the Capitol Police and the Metro D.C. Police prior to January 6. The FBI failed to issue a “threat assessment” prior to January 6. Durbin began his questioning of Wray by expressing his “surprise” that the FBI failed to issue a threat assessment in advance of January 6. Indeed, as Klobuchar well knows, the press has reported, citing 2014 court documents, that Proud Boys Chairman Tarrio has himself served as an FBI informant.
Poll: Americans are more interested in getting stimulus than in seeing bipartisanship support for bill
       
WASHINGTON – Americans would rather have stimulus checks in hand quickly than see bipartisan support for President Joe Biden's COVID-19 legislation, according to a new poll from Monmouth University. Exclusive:Defeated and impeached, Trump still commands the loyalty of the GOP's votersMore than two-thirds of Americans (68%) said that $1,400 stimulus checks should remain in the stimulus package even if it meant the bill had no support from the opposite party. Democrats have proposed a $1.9 trillion relief package that includes $1,400 stimulus checks; some Republicans have complained that that amount for checks, and the total cost of the bill, are too large. Republicans critical of the stimulus bill have claimed that the proposal would disproportionately aid Democratic-leaning states and claimed the bill would have some effect on when states and local governments could reopen their economies. While the upcoming stimulus package does not include a provision that would cancel student debt, the poll found that 61% of Americans support canceling up to $10,000 in college debt for anyone with outstanding federal loans.
Pence attacks Democratic voting bill, 2020 election integrity in op-ed
       
Former Vice President Mike Pence is lending his voice to the conservative outcry against Democratic voting reform proposals. Rioters, many of whom believed Pence had the power to unilaterally overturn the election results, were recorded chanting "Hang Mike Pence" and "Bring out Mike Pence" during the violence. Allegations of widespread voter fraud in the election are unfounded. "HR 1 mandates the most questionable and abuse-prone election rules nationwide, while banning commonsense measures to detect, deter, and prosecute election fraud," Pence argued in his column. Proponents argue the drastic steps are meant to curb voter fraud, while voting rights advocates have said the efforts will cause voter disenfranchisement, especially among minority voters.
USMNT's Reggie Cannon struggles explaining America: 'Feels like I am describing medieval times'
       
"Explaining the America I have lived in to those who don’t live in America, it feels like I am describing medieval times." At the time, Cannon called the reaction the fans had "disgraceful" and has continued to speak out against racial inequality. Threatening to kill your family, threatening to show up at your house, threatening to do vulgar things to you, that I can’t say. It is, unfortunately, part of the society that America is today, especially when Trump was in charge. "Growing up I didn’t even know what my grandfather had done all for my country, for science," Cannon said.
Covid-19 Live Updates: Biden’s Call for Vaccinating Educators Is Part of Ambitious Schools Plan
       
It goes vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine. I’m old enough to get it, and I’m smart enough to get it.” She also broke into song (naturally), replacing the word “Jolene” in one of her best-known choruses with “vaccine.” “Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine,” she sang, embellishing the last one with her trademark Tennessee lilt. “I’m begging of you please don’t hesitate.” “Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine,” she added, “because once you’re dead, then that’s a bit too late.” Just before the doctor arrived to inoculate her — or “pop me in my arm,” as she put it — she doubled down on her message. The administration had also brokered a deal in which the pharmaceutical giant Merck would help manufacture the new Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine. He thanked Merck and Johnson & Johnson for “stepping up and being good corporate citizens during this crisis.” Noah Weiland contributed reporting.
Watchdog finds G.O.P. congressman harassed staff and recklessly drank while serving as White House physician.
       
The report, which was obtained by The New York Times, shed light on a number of rumors that had dogged Dr. Jackson beginning in 2018, after former President Donald J. Trump nominated him to lead the Veterans Affairs Department. After allegations emerged that Dr. Jackson had improperly distributed prescription drugs, created a hostile work environment, and had problems with drinking, the White House withdrew his nomination. Dr. Jackson went on to win a crowded Republican primary race to represent a district in northeastern Texas and was elected to Congress in 2020. The 37-page report, first described by CNN, painted a picture of a physician who engaged in reckless and sometimes threatening behavior, creating an uncomfortable environment for subordinates. A majority of the 60 witnesses interviewed by investigators said that Dr. Jackson had created a negative work environment, and nearly all of them said they had either personally witnessed, experienced, or heard from colleagues about Dr. Jackson “screaming, cursing, or belittling subordinates.”
Majority of Americans disapprove of Biden’s immigration executive order: poll
       
A majority of Americans disapprove of President Biden’s executive orders on immigration and transgender athletes participating in women’s sports — his least popular actions since taking office, according to a new poll. The poll conducted in late February by Harvard University and Harris Insights and Analytics found 55 percent disapprove of Biden’s executive order to “[r]equire schools to let biological boys who identify as girls to participate in girls sports, and vice versa.”It was tied for least popular of choices offered in the poll order when responses were weighted to reflect national US demographics. There was 50 percent disapproval for Biden’s repeal of a travel ban that the Trump administration said targeted countries that are failed or fragile states or beset by terrorism, including Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. Forty-seven percent disapproved of Biden ending construction of Trump’s Mexico border wall. The poll found 73 percent support for the package, though 46 percent were worried that the bill is wasteful, as Republicans allege, and 48 percent said they fear it will cause inflation.
The Technology 202: Virginia's new state law adds pressure to Congress to act on privacy
       
The Virginia law is widely viewed as more industry-friendly than the California provision. Virginia’s new law signals that states increasingly are taking on tech regulation after years of lack of action in Congress. Many other states, including Washington and New Jersey, are considering privacy legislation. A growing patchwork of state laws could create more pressure on Congress to move forward on federal privacy legislation. Privacy advocates largely see the Virginia law as a mixed bag.
Republicans condemned Trump after the Capitol attack. Now they are opening the door to him as the future of the party.
       
That was less than two weeks after saying that Trump was derelict in his duty as president. But many Republicans who initially criticized Trump for the attack have since demurred or recommitted themselves to him when asked about his role in the party. One week after the attack, McCarthy said Trump bore “responsibility” for it. The shifts by Republicans on Trump are perhaps not surprising considering his support within the party. But unlike 2016, the current criticism of Trump follows the worst attack on the Capitol in more than two centuries and the most bipartisan impeachment vote in history for Trump’s role in that attack.
Mike Pence’s remarkable op-ed highlights the GOP’s choice on voting rights
       
In an op-ed for the Daily Signal, Pence details his opposition to a voting rights bill spearheaded by House Democrats. As The Post and others have written, even Republicans who didn’t support Trump’s claims have cited the distrust that they engendered to argue for increasing voter restrictions. GOP voting bills are front-and-center in Arizona and Georgia, but both Republican Govs. He largely faded into the background — not vouching for Trump’s fraud claims but also not speaking out against them. That he, too, is legitimizing doubts about the integrity of the election is a significant moment in the emerging GOP voting rights effort.
Opinion | The White House’s use of Zoom for meetings raises China-related security concerns
       
ADADNevertheless, the White House has to be especially careful about cyber security threats, and its reliance on Zoom is a problem, the House’s Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Banks (Ind.) wrote in a letter to Ron Klain, the White House chief of staff. They also emphasized the White House uses Zoom for Government, a more secure version, and not for classified meetings. A former senior Trump administration official acknowledged that the Trump administration had used Zoom, but pointed out that the Trump administration practiced lots of unsafe cyber security habits so it should not be held up as the standard going forward. McMaster’s latest book calls the Chinese Communist Party the greatest threat in a generation.
Capitol Police increase security amid 'possible' militia group plot to breach Capitol
       
U.S. Capitol Police are increasing security after obtaining intelligence to suggest a "possible plot" by a militia group to breach the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, March 4. "The United States Capitol Police Department is aware of and prepared for any potential threats towards members of Congress or towards the Capitol complex," they said in a statement Wednesday. "We have obtained intelligence that shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group on Thursday, March 4." Capitol Police said it is working with "local, state and federal partners to stop any threats to the Capitol." The Jan. 6 Capitol riot left five people dead, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer.
Pentagon confirms 10 rockets struck Iraqi base housing U.S. troops
       
The Pentagon on Wednesday confirmed that nearly a dozen rockets struck an Iraqi base hosting U.S. troops. Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said that no U.S service members were injured in the attack. The Pentagon has deferred the investigation to the Iraqi military. We stand by as needed to assist our Iraqi partners as they investigate," the statement read. The Biden administration had hinted at retaliation in a news conference on Feb. 17.
Police warn of possible bid by militia group to attack U.S. Capitol
       
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The police force that guards the U.S. Capitol said on Wednesday it has obtained intelligence pointing to a possible plot by a militia group to breach the building on Thursday, an alleged plan with echoes of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. The Capitol Police statement noted that the department already has made “significant security upgrades” at the Capitol, home to the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. There was no indication that the Senate or House would alter their legislative activities on Thursday. On Tuesday, Acting House Sergeant at Arms Timothy Blodgett notified all members of Congress of a possible security threat spanning Thursday through Saturday. Since Jan. 6, National Guard troops have been dispatched to the Capitol grounds and tall fencing has been erected to extend the security perimeter of the Capitol.
A Betsy DeVos Holdover Is Still In Charge Of America’s Student Loans
       
Advocates for student loan borrowers are pressuring President Joe Biden’s administration to fire the head of Federal Student Aid, a Trump administration holdover they say has mismanaged an office that could be key in advancing Democratic goals to make college more affordable. and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten ? is likely to increase now that Education Secretary Miguel Cardona has taken office. The office’s struggles are well-known, and even prompted DeVos to propose spinning off FSA as an independent agency in 2019. On his first day in office, Biden extended a pause on student loan payments until the end of September. The office also faced intense criticism after Great Lakes, a major student loan servicer, provided inaccurate information to credit agencies last year, hurting some borrowers’ credit scores.
DHS, FBI send warning that groups 'discussed plans' for another Capitol attack soon
       
The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI sent a joint intelligence bulletin that there is the possibility of another Capitol attack happening as early as March 4. NBC News' Julia Ainsley reports that certain groups could be planning to storm the Capitol again as part of an unfounded conspiracy that former President Donald Trump will be inaugurated on March 4.
Police uncover ‘possible plot’ by militia to breach Capitol
       
FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, rioters storm the Capitol, in Washington. Capitol Police say they have intelligence showing a “possible plot” by a militia group to breach the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, nearly two months after a mob of supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the iconic building to try to stop Congress from certifying now-President Joe Biden's victory. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, rioters storm the Capitol, in Washington. Capitol Police say they have intelligence showing a “possible plot” by a militia group to breach the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, nearly two months after a mob of supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the iconic building to try to stop Congress from certifying now-President Joe Biden's victory. It took hours for reinforcements to come and by then Trump supporters had roamed the halls of the U.S. Capitol for hours.
Projects GOP tied to Pelosi, Schumer dropped from virus bill
       
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans opposing a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that passed the House have pointed to two transportation projects as examples of pork that would politically benefit Democrats leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. Now those projects are out of the bill. The project was set to receive about $141 million under the bill that passed in the House. The subway extension was described as “Speaker Pelosi’s pork subway project” even though it is located 50 miles away from her district. The Senate bill is expected to largely mirror the House-approved package, with the most glaring divergence the Senate’s dropping of language boosting the federal minimum wage to $15 hourly.
Police uncover possible militia plot to breach Capitol this week
       
The revelation was detailed in a statement from the Capitol Police. “The United States Capitol Police Department is aware of and prepared for any potential threats towards members of Congress or towards the Capitol complex,” the agency said in a statement. The announcement comes as the Capitol police and other law enforcement agencies are taking heat from Congress in contentious hearings this week on their handling of the Jan. 6 riot. It took hours for reinforcements to come and by then Trump supporters had roamed the halls of the U.S. Capitol for hours. He was impeached by the House after the Jan. 6 riot on a charge of incitement of insurrection but was acquitted by the Senate.
Mike Pence comes out of hiding to nod towards Trump's election lies
       
Former Vice President Mike Pence broke his silence Wednesday with an op-ed in The Daily Signal, criticizing congressional Democrats for their voter reform push and giving new life to former President Donald Trump's baseless claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. He said he shares "the concerns of millions of Americans" about its integrity, suggesting he still hasn't fully broken with Trump on the matter. That said, Pence's op-ed didn't outright call the 2020 vote fraudulent. Pence called the bill "an unconstitutional power grab" with the sole goal of giving "leftists a permanent, unfair, and unconstitutional advantage in our political system." More stories from theweek.com7 scathingly funny cartoons about Trump's CPAC appearanceGermany's vaccine rollout has a healthcare.gov problemThe biggest jazz star you've never heard of
Capitol Police warns of attack by "an identified militia group" on March 4
       
But the leak also demonstrates how the radical group has recruited from a broad swath of Americans, not just military and law enforcement. There has been a particular focus on the militia movement after the 6 January attack on the Capitol in Washington DC, in which a rampaging pro-Trump mob included militia members and others from far-right organizations. He joined the breached AP3% website with thesales email address of the group’s merchandise website. Dr Balog was another AP3% member who responded to requests for comment on the website leak. Jennifer Delane Hinson, a dental assistant in Pontotoc, Mississippi, was also a member of the AP3% Facebook group, along with groups like the “Mississippi Minute Man Militia” and “III% Militia national Contingency”, all under the alias, Jenny Plunk.
Police uncover ‘possible plot’ by militia to breach Capitol
       
Even critics of the administration’s agenda said they have been surprised by the pace of the agency’s actions. “They’re obviously moving forward quickly and aggressively,” said Nicolas Loris, an economist who focuses on environment policy at the conservative Heritage Foundation. The Interior Department manages about 500 million acres of public lands and vast coastal waters. Its agencies lease many of those acres for oil and gas drilling as well as wind and solar farms. Biden’s Interior Department will ultimately be defined by its reversals on fossil fuels after four years in which the Trump administration aggressively pursued energy production on public lands.
World Bank's Malpass: We need more transparency on COVID-19 vaccine rollout, debt servicing
       
World Bank President David Malpass said more transparency is needed on debt servicing and the vaccine rollout, as the world’s most impoverished countries continue to struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic. The World Bank has contributed $12 billion to COVAX, a global initiative to distribute vaccines to countries that may not have the financial resources to afford them. The World Bank also works directly with countries on funding, which it hopes will reach 40 countries. Story continuesHe added that debt reduction efforts targeting developing countries would help free up fiscal space to move toward infrastructures with smaller carbon footprints. "The direction that the world needs to head is toward a greener, more resilient, more inclusive recovery," Malpass said.
Police uncover ‘possible plot’ by militia to breach Capitol on Thursday
       
The U.S. Capitol Police say they have intelligence showing there is a “possible plot” by a militia group to breach the U.S. Capitol on Thursday. The revelation was detailed in a statement from the Capitol Police. “The United States Capitol Police Department is aware of and prepared for any potential threats towards members of Congress or towards the Capitol complex,” the agency said in a statement. Capitol Police say that they have stepped up security around the Capitol complex since January’s insurrection, adding physical security measures such as the fencing topped with razor wire around the Capitol and members of the National Guard who remain at the complex. The statement said the agency was “taking the intelligence seriously” but provided no other specific details on the threat.
Becerra’s nomination to lead Health agency heads to Senate floor
       
Gen. Xavier Becerra’s nomination to become the nation’s first Latino secretary of Health and Human Services is headed to the Senate floor after the Finance Committee deadlocked Wednesday in a party-line vote. Senate rules now allow Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) to bring the nomination to the full Senate. After two hearings failed to stymie Becerra’s progress or convince Democrats not to support him, he appeared on track for approval. Conservative groups pumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into ads to pressure moderate Democrats not to support him. Gen. Becerra,” committee chairman Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said.
Democrats agree to tighten eligibility for $1,400 checks in COVID-19 relief bill
       
The COVID-19 relief measure Senate Democrats planned to unveil will also retain the $400 weekly emergency jobless benefits that were included in a House-approved version of the legislation, the official said. But under Wednesday’s agreement, those checks would end for individuals making $80,000 and couples earning $160,000, the official said. The Senate bill was expected to largely mirror the House-approved package, with the most glaring divergence the Senate's dropping of language boosting the federal minimum wage to $15 hourly. Progressives, though, were still smarting over the virtual certainty that the Senate bill will lack the minimum wage boost, up from $7.25 hourly locked in since 2009. Opposition by moderates including Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., has left Democrats without the votes needed to salvage it.
Watchdog finds GOP congressman harassed staff, drank while serving as White House physician
       
After allegations emerged that Jackson had improperly distributed prescription drugs, created a hostile work environment and had problems with drinking, the White House withdrew his nomination. AdvertisementJackson went on to win a crowded Republican primary race to represent a district in northeastern Texas and was elected to Congress in 2020. The 37-page report, first described by CNN, painted a picture of a physician who engaged in reckless and sometimes threatening behavior, creating an uncomfortable environment for subordinates. Jackson had previously recounted to witnesses that he found that rule to be “stupid,” investigators found. Former subordinates interviewed by investigators additionally raised the concern that Jackson took Ambien, a powerful sleep-aid medication, to help him sleep during long overseas travel.
Police uncover ‘possible plot’ by militia to breach Capitol
       
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Capitol Police say they have intelligence showing there is a “possible plot” by a militia group to breach the U.S. Capitol on Thursday. The revelation was detailed in a statement from the Capitol Police. “The United States Capitol Police Department is aware of and prepared for any potential threats towards members of Congress or towards the Capitol complex,” the agency said in a statement. Capitol Police say that they have stepped up security around the Capitol complex since January’s insurrection, adding physical security measures such as the fencing topped with razor wire around the Capitol and members of the National Guard who remain at the complex. ___Associated Press writers Nomaan Merchant, Colleen Long and Alan Fram in Washington and Amanda Seitz in Chicago contributed to this report.
‘Possible plot’ by militia to breach Capitol Thursday uncovered by police
       
In a Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, rioters storm the Capitol, in Washington. The group includes people linked to the Oath Keepers militia group who have been indicted on charges that they planned and coordinated with one another in the attack. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)WASHINGTON — Capitol Police say they have intelligence showing a “possible plot” by a militia group to breach the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, nearly two months after a mob of supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the iconic building to try to stop Congress from certifying now-President Joe Biden’s victory. It took hours for reinforcements to come and by then Trump supporters had roamed the halls of the U.S. Capitol for hours. He was impeached by the House after the Jan. 6 riot on a charge of incitement of insurrection but was acquitted by the Senate.
Dems OK tighter income limits for COVID-19 relief: official
       
The COVID-19 relief measure Senate Democrats planned to unveil will also retain the $400 weekly emergency jobless benefits that were included in a House-approved version of the legislation, the official said. But under Wednesday’s agreement, those checks would end for individuals making $80,000 and couples earning $160,000, the official said. The Senate bill was expected to largely mirror the House-approved package, with the most glaring divergence the Senate’s dropping of language boosting the federal minimum wage to $15 hourly. Progressives, though, were still smarting over the virtual certainty that the Senate bill will lack the minimum wage boost, up from $7.25 hourly locked in since 2009. Opposition by moderates including Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., has left Democrats without the votes needed to salvage it.
Police uncover 'possible plot' by militia to breach Capitol
       
WASHINGTON — Capitol Police say they have intelligence showing a "possible plot" by a militia group to breach the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, nearly two months after a mob of supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the iconic building to try to stop Congress from certifying now-President Joe Biden's victory. The revelation was detailed in a statement from the Capitol Police. "The United States Capitol Police Department is aware of and prepared for any potential threats towards members of Congress or towards the Capitol complex," the agency said in a statement. "We have obtained intelligence that shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group on Thursday, March 4." It took hours for reinforcements to come and by then Trump supporters had roamed the halls of the U.S. Capitol for hours.
Opinion: Trump needs to end his far-fetched pursuit
       
President Trump plans to visit Georgia on Saturday to campaign for two incumbent Republican U.S. senators who face runoff elections in January. The races are pivotal to the GOP’s hopes of keeping control of the Senate. However, at least one prominent conservative, National Review’s Jim Geraghty, wonders why Trump is bothering to make the trip, given the president’s claim that Georgia was “stolen” from him in the Nov. 3 election. “What is the point of voting if elections are rigged, as the president insists? If the president is telling the truth, why should Georgia Republicans participate in the charade of an election scheduled for January 5?”
Michael Barone: Democrats reaping what they sow
       
"My sense is that if Trump wins, Hillary supporters will be sad," left-wing writer Sally Kohn tweeted the day of the 2016 election. "If Hillary wins, Trump supporters will be angry. Kohn turned out to be wrong about her own side that year, which angrily set about delegitimizing Donald Trump's victory. She was wrong, too, in her apparent assumption — shared by shop owners who boarded up their windows—- that Trump supporters would react violently to his defeat. They are not consoled that Joe Biden's margin of victory in this year's three crucial states (Arizona, Georgia, Wisconsin) was an even smaller 43,809 votes.
Opinion: Inhofe on the right side in defense bill spat with Trump
       
Few, if any, members of the U.S. Senate have supported President Trump more earnestly and consistently than Oklahoma’s Jim Inhofe. Yet the closing weeks of Trump’s term in office have the two men at odds over the defense budget, a dispute where Inhofe has the better argument. This compromise bill is one piece of legislation that generally sails to passage in Congress, and should again this year. However, Trump is demanding that the bill include language that would repeal Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act, which provides online companies with some liability protections. Trump is threatening to veto the bill, and used Twitter to criticize Inhofe by name late last week.
Jonah Goldberg: Trumpism is unlikely to be an enduring ideology
       
As an intellectual project, it was pretty much a bust. For instance, Julius Krein started a journal, American Affairs, with the goal of providing an intellectual framework for Trumpism. You can’t really do both, because Trumpism was never an ideological phenomenon but a psychological one. Now, in the wake of Trump’s defeat, the project to create Trumpism-without-Trump has been reborn as electoral analysis. Trump supporters claim that he bequeathed to the right and the country the makings of a new, multiethnic workers party.
The glory of President Trump's judges
       
One of President Donald Trump's foremost achievements has been to erect a formidable obstacle to his own post-election legal challenges. The federal judiciary, now seeded throughout with Trump-nominated judges, has given the back of its hand to pro-Trump election litigation, with Trump judges issuing notably harsh opinions. It's always been strange that Trump, who will never be mistaken for a rigorous constitutionalist and who personalizes everything, has elevated a couple of hundred judges who, by and large, are deeply committed to the Constitution and feel no particular personal loyalty to him. Hardly an institutionalist, Trump has buttressed the institution of the judiciary.
Your Views Saturday, Dec. 12
       
I hope the “unbiased” national news media and elected officials give as much support, cooperation and scrutiny to Joe Biden as they did President Trump! Weeks after Joe Biden won the election, our president and his followers claim the results were inconceivable, a fraud. President Trump is an inspiring fellow. The pandemic, long lines, unreliable postal service and robust voter suppression did not block enough change voters for the president to win. Like 81 million other Americans, officials and supporters can say no to the president.
Point of View: A COVID deal both sides might go for
       
Point of View: A COVID deal both sides might go for shares emailBoxes containing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are prepared to be shipped at the Pfizer Global Supply Kalamazoo manufacturing plant in Portage, Mich., Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020. Those are some of the nicer terms that my fellow liberals have been hurling at Republicans who continue to contest the presidential election. So why are we feeding that false narrative by ignoring Trump’s actual triumph this fall? I’m talking about Operation Warp Speed, the vaccine development project that he kicked off in the spring. It bore fruit Friday night, when the Food and Drug Administration approved Pfizer’s vaccine for use against the coronavirus.
Stephen Moore: Potential 900% tariffs on mattresses could wallop consumers
       
When import tariffs are under discussion in Washington, D.C., they typically revolve around rates of 5% to 25% on foreign goods. But what about duties on imported household items that can reach 300%, 500% or even 900%? Those are the tariff rates that some in Congress and the Trump administration propose on imported bedding products and mattresses. This group includes Utah-based bedding company Malouf and retail home goods giant Ashley HomeStore. The bedding industry is roughly $10 billion of annual revenue, with upward of 30 million mattresses sold every year.
Opinion: Electoral College serves country well once again
       
Perhaps all the attention paid to the Electoral College this year will serve to curb efforts to do away with the system, which has served the nation well and did again this year. Recall that in 2016, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but not the presidency because Donald Trump managed to win traditional Democratic states such as Michigan and Wisconsin, giving him the edge in the Electoral College. That marked the fifth time in 59 presidential elections, and second time in 16 years, that the winner lost the popular vote. These results produced cries from the left to scrap the Electoral College, which allots electoral votes based on the size of each state’s congressional delegation. The Electoral College ensures that smaller-population states such as Oklahoma have a say in the outcome of presidential elections, instead of the most densely populated states.
Rich Lowry: Trump should not pardon Snowden
       
No one will ever accuse President Donald Trump of being overly careful in his exercise of his pardon power. Glenn Greenwald, Snowden's journalistic partner and foremost advocate, has, of course, been banging the drum. Rose McGowan has urged Trump on Twitter to pardon Snowden in defiance of "DC Cult Leaders aka politicians" who "hate truth." Renegade Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is on board, as are libertarian Trump loyalists Sen. Rand Paul and Rep. Matt Gaetz. As Trump's presidency winds down and his clout on Capitol Hill diminishes, his sweeping power to grant clemency will be even more alluring to him, and he said during the summer that he's considering a Snowden pardon.
Point of View: Continued silence from Lankford, Inhofe is no longer an option
       
Point of View: Continued silence from Lankford, Inhofe is no longer an optionFor nearly two months, soon-to-be-former President Donald Trump and some of his supporters have filed numerous challenges contesting the 2020 presidential election results. Each challenge has failed. No evidence of fraud has been proven. At this point, Trump’s continued spurious attacks on the election do not amount to valid challenges but rather represent the orchestration of a dangerous constitutional crisis intended to subvert our election process. • filing more than 50 unsuccessful lawsuits in state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.
Opinion: Business as usual for Congress en route to COVID deal
       
A coronavirus relief package finally made it through Congress last week, with broad support. Among those voting against the bill, however, was Oklahoma Rep. Markwayne Mullin, and his reason goes to the heart of why Americans get so frustrated with Congress. “I don’t blame those who voted for it,” said Mullin, R-Westville. At one time, a September vote was thought possible. As this was written, a Trump veto of the bill was possible.
Point of View: 2020 the worst year ever? Not quite
       
It also ended the longest economic boom in American history and threw millions of people out of work. COVID-19 meant people were mostly unable to go to movies, concerts or sporting events in 2020. By comparison, smallpox has been around since at least Ancient Egypt in the third century B.C. But inoculation was rarely practiced until the 18th century, so it didn’t help very many people for its first 900 years or so. When Abigail Adams had her children inoculated in 1776, it was still a scary, new technology for most people.
Clarence Page: When Hollywood came to my Ohio hometown
       
Clarence Page: When Hollywood came to my Ohio hometownAmong other momentous events, I’ll remember 2020 as the year when, decades after leaving my Ohio hometown, Hollywood brought it back to me. Appropriately, reactions to Ron Howard’s film, “Hillbilly Elegy,” have been about as polarized as the politics that helped turn J.D. Vance’s memoir into a breakout hit in the 2016 election cycle. Vance’s memoir about overcoming an impoverished childhood in rural Kentucky and Rust Belt Ohio to graduate from Yale Law School could hardly have come out at a better time. Conservative pundits in particular cheered the memoir’s accounts of lower-income grievance and cultural resentment among working-class whites whom globalism and structural economic changes had left behind.
Clarence Page: Politics in 2021 — Will the blurring of reality and fantasy continue?
       
President Donald Trump is on his way out of the White House, but not much else seems as certain. If anything, 2020 will be remembered as a year that blurred the lines between fact and fantasy more than any other — and it could be a bipartisan trend. Of course, skepticism is hardly limited to one party. For example, a lot of people in both parties questioned the eyelash-close 2000 presidential election, too. But I’m hard-pressed to find a previous election in which the president so actively has tried to gaslight the public — and had so many of his core supporters play along with it.
Your Views Wednesday, Jan. 6
       
Lankford’s stance a profile in cowardiceSen. James Lankford’s position against counting state-certified electoral votes is a profile in cowardice if not worse — attempted sedition. Trump loyalists have lost in the courts, both state and federal, some 60 times challenging the presidential votes. It must be noted only a minority of Republican senators have joined Lankford’s evisceration of our Constitution. The majority of the Oklahoma congressional delegation will certify every state’s electoral votes; these representatives should be applauded for upholding our Constitution. President-elect Joe Biden won the popular vote and won a landslide in the Electoral College.
Point of View: Where is concern over national debt?
       
In that regard, the debt was about 68% of GDP when Obama entered office and 104% of GDP when he left. As Trump leaves office, the debt is estimated to be about 136% of GDP — the highest percentage of debt/GDP ever in our country. When Barack Obama assumed office in 2009, the national debt was about $10 trillion. As President Trump leaves office, the national debt has ballooned to nearly $27 trillion. Reduced or postponed Social Security benefits and Medicare benefits along with higher taxes are the only solutions to this debt crisis.
Opinion: Trump's distressing election ploy
       
Donald Trump has said and done his share of questionable things during his four years as president. Few if any compare to his effort to get Georgia’s Republican secretary of state to find a way to overturn Trump’s loss in that state. The Washington Post reported on Trump’s one-hour conversation Saturday with Brad Raffensperger, in which the president urged the Republican official to “find” enough votes to give Trump the victory in Georgia. President-elect Joe Biden won by just 11,779 votes in Georgia, out of nearly 5 million votes cast. On the phone call, Trump said several times that, “There’s no way I lost Georgia.”
Opinion: A sad spectacle at the U.S. Capitol
       
Unprecedented. Pick your adjective to describe Wednesday’s scene at the U.S. Capitol, where thousands of President Trump supporters overran the building and stopped the work of certifying the Electoral College results of November's election. During a speech earlier in the day where Trump repeated his claim that the election had been stolen from him, he urged supporters to act. Act they did, overwhelming security officers and making their way into the House and Senate chambers and into some offices. President-elect Biden put it well in a brief televised address, saying our democracy was “under unprecedented assault.”
Point of View: Private philanthropy is the indespensible force in the pandemic
       
As 2020 came to a close, Congress finally agreed on COVID-19 relief measures — and President Trump signed them into law — after eight long months of political gridlock that ignored the hardships facing many American families. When many Americans were forced to shelter-in-place, and business closures triggered millions of job losses earlier this year, federal lawmakers passed an initial COVID-19 relief package two months after the coronavirus reached U.S. shores. The pandemic has highlighted why we need a strong, effective charitable sector that can outpace the slowness of bureaucracy. Charitable giving and volunteers powered the emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic as many nonprofits found themselves on the front lines. While we do not have all of the data on 2020 charitable giving yet, early survey data show giving has soared.
Opinion: Delegation's tenacity, teamwork pay off for OKC bombing memorial
       
Every now and then in Washington, items added to pieces of seemingly unrelated legislation are worth pursuing. This is true of the authorization of $1 million for the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. It is included in the annual defense bill, a $740 billion measure that both houses of Congress approved overwhelmingly last month, President Trump vetoed, then Congress enacted by easily overriding the veto as 2020 ended. As The Oklahoman’s Chris Casteel noted, the authorization is big “in principal and in principle” to the memorial, which was promised the money nearly two decades ago. The authorization is a testament to teamwork and persistence by Oklahoma’s congressional delegation, led by Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, who as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee inserted the language into the defense bill last summer.
Cal Thomas: Free speech is being tested again
       
Twitter and Facebook have permanently banned President Trump from their social platforms. Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and attorney Sidney Powell have also been permanently banned as Twitter announced a purge of “accounts dedicated to sharing content related to the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory.”Trump has hinted he may announce an alternative social media platform, possibly one created by him. In a statement tweeted Friday on his presidential Twitter account, Trump wrote: “As I have been saying for a long time, Twitter has gone further and further in banning free speech, and tonight, Twitter employees have coordinated with the Democrats and the Radical Left in removing my account from their platform, to silence me — and YOU, the 75,000,000 great patriots who voted for me. Twitter may be a private company, but without the government’s gift of Section 230 they would not exist for long. I predicted this would happen.
Point-Counterpoint: Yes, Trump must go
       
A violent mob, egged on by President Trump, attacked a building that stands as an enduring symbol of America’s constitutional republic. The president’s legal challenges failed across the board, even when made before judges appointed by Trump himself. He complained that Vice President Mike Pence failed to do his bidding and hand him the election. He could not call for calm and ask his supporters to disperse without repeating false claims about the election being stolen. In one of the lowest moments the day, he told the rioters who stormed the Capitol, “We love you.”
Point-Counterpoint: No, removing the president now lacks precedent
       
There’s no doubt Jan. 6 will be remembered as a dark day in American history. But was the breaching of the U.S. Capitol by angry Trump supporters grounds for removing the president from office— especially when he only has a few days left? Vice President Mike Pence and assembled lawmakers were evacuated to a safe place as Capitol Police attempted to restore order. This political friction erupted over the disputed claims of a fraudulent and unfair election. The protesters came from a “Stop the Steal” rally held to draw attention to alleged election improprieties and to show support for Trump.
Your Views Sunday, Jan. 10
       
Under siege by a president bent on insurrection, our Congress voted to approve all electors. The vote prevented Donald Trump from destroying one of the tenets of our republic. As John Adams said, “There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”How does our democratic republic move forward from this grievous wound? We must start by realizing that Trump is a hijacker of, but not an integral part of, the conservative movement. The truth is that the vast majority of the 75 million people who voted for Trump are neither racists nor anarchists.
Your Views Wednesday, Jan. 13
       
Once again talk from political leaders is cheapI strongly agree with Jerome Murray (Your Views, Jan. 9). Due to recent events, both political parties are stressing the importance for our nation to step back and take a breath, but once again talk is cheap. Nancy Pelosi is bringing an article of impeachment and called for the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment. How can Americans unite and heal our wounds when a great percentage of our elected officials’ mantra is “divide and conquer”? Millions of Americans question the voting process in several states; hopefully, reforms will be initiated.
USA Today Opinion: Impeach Donald Trump, start Senate trial without delay
       
President Donald Trump incited thousands to march on Capitol Hill last week, where they sacked America's seat of government in an effort to stop confirmation of the presidential election. It was an insurrectional act that demands his prompt removal from office, if not by resignation or the 25th Amendment, then through the impeachment process. With Trump showing no inclination to resign — he insisted Tuesday that his remarks at the pre-riot rally were "totally appropriate" — the Democratic-led House of Representatives was poised to approve a resolution demanding that Vice President Mike Pence invoke the 25th Amendment to strip Trump of his presidential powers by majority consensus of the Cabinet. That would be the quickest way to deal with the danger Trump poses in his remaining week in office. But Pence isn't going there, even though rioters were calling for him to be hanged after Trump called his loyal vice president a coward for putting the Constitution above phony vote-fraud conspiracies.
Jonah Goldberg: Violence at Capitol was horrific, but don’t lose sight of the attempted theft
       
Jonah Goldberg: Violence at Capitol was horrific, but don’t lose sight of the attempted theftAn attempted bank robber who doesn’t hurt anybody is still guilty of attempted bank robbery. If someone gets hurt, though, the penalties are greater even if the robber didn’t intend harm. This is how I think about what Donald Trump did last week. For months, Trump dodged answering whether he’d respect the results of the 2020 election. Because, as he often says, he likes to keep his options open.
Opinion: Country doesn't need impeachment proceeding
       
U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, is on the mark with his analysis that impeaching President Trump in the waning days of his administration is not in the nation’s best interests. Democrats in the House of Representatives, however, are moving full speed ahead. Yet Trump has lost just about all his backing in the White House, with several Cabinet members resigning after the awful siege of the Capitol by pro-Trump protesters on Jan. 6. In a video last Thursday, Trump committed to a peaceful and orderly transition of power. He has announced he will not attend Biden’s inauguration, something that should please Democrats.
Rich Lowry: The Flight 93 post-election
       
That metaphor is Flight 93, courtesy of Michael Anton, author of a famous essay before the 2016 election about how Republicans had no option but to get on board with Trump. "Charge the cockpit or you die," Anton wrote. "The Flight 93 Election" became a signature statement of Trumpism, and remains incredibly relevant today. Its mood perfectly captures the post-election period and especially what happened at the U.S. Capitol — fevered, dark and apocalyptic. Anton wrote as if the end of the republic were upon us, and there's nothing like a rabble storming a citadel of American democracy to buttress this view.
Clarence Page: Twitter’s action against Trump opens a can of First Amendment worms
       
Clarence Page: Twitter’s action against Trump opens a can of First Amendment wormsIronies abound in the debate over free speech, now that Twitter has taken away President Donald Trump’s favorite bullhorn. “We are living Orwell’s 1984,” his son Donald Trump Jr. tweeted in his dad’s defense on his own Twitter account. “Free-speech no longer exists in America.”Oh, it’s not that bad. Junior’s Twitter remained alive and well, even as his dad’s accounts were banned or suspended from a half-dozen other major platforms. Yet I couldn’t help but contrast the Trump camp’s indignation over his deplatforming with their outrage two years ago after an appeals court ruled that he could not block users from his Twitter account.
Opinion: A prayer for peace, respect in days ahead
       
The FBI’s warning in an internal bulletin could not be more clear, or distressing: “Armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitols from 16 January through at least 20 January, and at the U.S. Capitol from 17 January through 20 January ...”Goodness gracious. The FBI is concerned that violence may be on the way as President Trump exits the White House next week. The internal bulletin came a few days after the horrific siege of the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters in which police shot and killed one woman, a Capitol police officer died after being attacked, and three people died from what authorities said were medical emergencies. Mark Pitcavage, a senior research fellow at the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, told The Associated Press that “a lot of people were energized by what happened last week” and that authorities in state capitals and major U.S. cities should brace for the possibility of violent protests. This is underway in Oklahoma City.
Opinion: Big Tech's actions problematic indeed
       
Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, deemed it “problematic” that Twitter had kicked President Trump off its platform forever. Problematic, indeed. Yes, Twitter is a private company, and as such can set rules that, if broken in the company’s eyes, can mean sanctions. Trump has a media team to help promote his message, and people can always go elsewhere or even create their own social media company if they want, the argument goes. Amazon followed by withdrawing the cloud service Parler uses to store data.
Opinion: Lankford apology provides a lesson in listening
       
U.S. Sen. James Lankford apologized Thursday to Tulsa's Black community for partaking in a misguided effort to question 2020 election results from other states. This laudable move provides a lesson about the importance of listening to each other. Lankford joined a dozen other U.S. senators who sought to oppose the Senate’s formal count of the Electoral College votes on Jan. 6 unless a commission was created to investigate “allegations of fraud and irregularities” in the election. Instead, it helped stoke the narrative that the election had been “stolen” from President Donald Trump. As the Senate and House tallied the electoral votes that day, Trump supporters laid siege to the Capitol building, resulting in one woman being shot and killed and one police officer getting killed.
New administration point-counterpoint: Brace yourself, change is coming
       
On Jan. 20, the Biden administration will enter the Oval Office in the midst of a pandemic and economic crisis, with the Democrats in control of both houses of Congress, which means big policy changes are afoot in the United States. First, the Biden administration will use the economic crisis at hand to pursue a domestic policy platform that will be the mirror opposite of the Trump administration’s free-market, federalist program. Second, in stark contrast to the Trump administration, which focused on a foreign policy agenda of “America first,” the Biden administration will pivot to a globalist policy program, also under the guise of COVID. Third, it is highly likely the Biden administration will seek major structural changes to the federal government that could change the electoral prospects for both parties for a generation.
Cal Thomas: For Trump, what might have been
       
Cal Thomas: For Trump, what might have been“For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been’.” — John Greenleaf WhittierThere are many things beyond human control, among them, when and where you were born and who your parents are. As President Trump leaves office, he will have time, but perhaps not much time given that his enemies seek to destroy his businesses and his chance for running again for any office, to contemplate what went wrong. Before he announced for president, if a pollster had asked voters whether they would vote to grant a second term for a president who has accomplished what Trump has in foreign and domestic policy, I suspect the response would have been a resounding “yes.”
Opinion: Trump's absence from inauguration probably best
       
President Trump will not attend President-elect Joe Biden’s swearing-in Wednesday, and perhaps that’s for the best, given what has transpired since the election. They would like to offer one final goodbye in the spotlight, as supporters of previous outgoing presidents have done. But Trump himself chose to skip the inauguration, and his actions since Nov. 3 cast a dark shadow over much of what he should have been able to tout on his way out. These include the 2017 tax cut that helped Americans of all income levels and contributed to what became a vibrant and growing economy. That economy, buoyed by easing of regulations, produced a record-low unemployment rate for Blacks and Hispanics.
Opinion: Biden hit many high notes in inaugural speech
       
It will take some time to measure the effectiveness of President Joe Biden’s inaugural address. As delivered, however, it was largely an optimistic and heartfelt call for unity and cooperation for a divided country. Biden’s swearing-in took place on the same site where two weeks earlier, rioters had sought to interrupt Congress’ work of formally accepting the results of Biden’s defeat of Donald Trump on Nov. 3. The new president noted this early in his speech, saying the day was a celebration “not of a candidate but of a cause, the cause of democracy.”At the place where violence “sought to shake the Capitol’s very foundation,” Biden said, “we come together as one nation, under God, indivisible, to carry out the peaceful transfer of power. We set our sights on the nation we know we can be and must be.”The overarching themes of the speech were carried over from Biden’s campaign — a desire for the country to come together, and his pledge to be a president for all Americans.
Michael Barone: Biden's heartfelt appeal for unity likely to be unavailing
       
"We must end this uncivil war," Joe Biden proclaimed Wednesday shortly after he became the 46th president. Hours earlier, in his last moments as the 45th president, Donald Trump extended "best wishes" to the "new administration." Our presidents since George Washington have come to office through an inevitably adversary process, and while they may inspire "unity" on occasion, that's more the exception than the rule. That process has become especially adversary in times of close division, like the polarized partisan parity prevailing since the 1990s. Joe Biden is the fifth consecutive president taking office with his party holding majorities in both houses of Congress.
Opinion: Out with the Keystone XL pipeline, again
       
As expected, President Joe Biden wasted no time using executive orders to undo many of former President Trump's initiatives. Biden's nixing of the permit for the northern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline was among the least surprising, but it is disappointing nonetheless. The Obama-Biden administration bowed to environmentalists in 2015 when former President Barack Obama vetoed a bipartisan bill that sought the pipeline’s construction. The Trump administration reversed Obama’s rejection of the project and gave the go-ahead to the northern leg. But a federal judge in Montana blocked a permit for construction, saying the State Department had not fully considered potential spills and other impacts as required by federal law.
Clarence Page: Pragmatism is the focus of my 1776 Unites essay
       
I have an extra reason to be pleased that President Joe Biden has revoked the Trump administration’s 1776 Report, released on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and aimed to promote “patriotic” history education in schools. I happen to have an essay in the Woodson Center’s older and unrelated but similarly purposed and privately funded 1776 Unites report, and some people already were getting the two mixed up. Like Team Trump’s project, 1776 Unites is a conservative response to The New York Times’ 1619 Project, which sparked both praise and controversy with its recentering of American history as beginning not with the Declaration of Independence but with the arrival of the first slaves. In response to the criticism, the 1619 Project’s principal reporter, Nikole Hannah-Jones, changed a line in her Pulitzer Prize-winning lead essay from calling slavery a “primary motivation of colonists” in the revolt to “some of the colonists.”
Jonah Goldberg: Biden needs to set even more ambitious vaccination goals
       
We are far from the destination, but the return to normalcy has begun — and so have the normal games presidents play. Donald Trump said many times that COVID-19 would just “disappear,” as if it were so much fake news ginned up to help Democrats. At one campaign stop, he railed, “COVID, COVID, COVID, COVID. … On Nov. 4, you won’t hear about it anymore.”Of course, he was wrong about the disease simply vanishing. More than 420,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 — surpassing the number of U.S. soldiers who died in combat in both world wars and the Vietnam War combined.
Your Views Wednesday, Jan. 27
       
Nixon understood the gravity of the situation and complied with the request. Trump understood this message and decided to make false claims of election fraud during and after the 2020 election. This included a deliberate attempt to overturn the certified election results in some states he lost in 2020. Regardless of the public explanations they give for their votes, they should understand by now that Donald Trump will only hear what he wants to hear. In a few weeks, we will see what message our Republican senators send.
Jonah Goldberg: For Dems, a Senate conviction of Trump isn't the point
       
The debate over whether to hold Donald Trump accountable for his role in the events that led to the siege of the U.S. Capitol has slipped into partisan farce. Over the 63 days between Election Day and the siege, Trump manufactured fraudulent claims that the election was stolen. He was recorded improperly — and almost certainly illegally — pressuring Georgia election officials to “find” the votes he needed to win the state. Whether Trump intended to incite violence or just negligently incited it is immaterial. But even exhorting the peaceful intimidation of officials conducting their constitutional duties would be a violation of his oath.
Michael Barone: The United States of Racial Quotas and Preferences
       
On Tuesday, six days into Joe Biden's administration, it became clear why Susan Rice, hitherto a foreign policy specialist, was named director of the Domestic Policy Council. Rice — unconfirmable for a Cabinet post after her unembarrassed Sunday show lying about the Benghazi terrorist attack — ventured into the White House press room to preview Biden's "equity" initiative. With one possible exception, the specific policies announced were less important than the word "equity," invoked 19 times by Rice and nine by Biden. Not so, perhaps, with the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing initiative, started under former President Barack Obama, repealed under former President Donald Trump and now due for spirited revival. The idea is for the feds to reverse local zoning laws and plant low-income housing in suburbs deemed insufficiently diverse.
Jonah Goldberg: For Democrats, a Senate conviction of Trump isn’t the point
       
Over the 63 days between Election Day and the siege, Trump manufactured fraudulent claims that the election was stolen. He was recorded improperly — and almost certainly illegally — pressuring Georgia election officials to “find” the votes he needed to win the state. Whether Trump intended to incite violence or just negligently incited it is immaterial. That said, it’s becoming clear that the Democrats don’t really care about convicting Trump. The impeachment article the House sent to the Senate was almost perfectly worded to give Republicans an excuse not to vote for it.
S.E. Cupp: Impeachment matters, even without conviction
       
A whopping 17 Republican Senators would need to join Democrats to convict Trump, and all but five wouldn’t even vote in favor of holding the impeachment trial, so it’s a steep climb. But that fact doesn’t mean the impeachment trial is unimportant. What happened in the wake of the November elections was likely a crime. The president of the United States and his allies tried to overturn the results of a Democratic election. After the blood was spilled, Trump said to these violent insurrectionists, “Go home, we love you, you’re very special.”
Point of View: Jonah Goldberg: ‘Return to normalcy’ isn’t really what Biden’s base wants
       
Biden didn’t actually use the slogan “return to normalcy.” But as numerous political observers (including yours truly) noted during the campaign, that was both Biden’s implicit appeal and his best shot at victory. But there are two other normalcies Biden has to address. Today, for most Americans of either party, a “return to normalcy” means being able to eat out, go to work and, most of all, send their kids back to school. If the first normalcy was instantaneous upon his inauguration, this second one is proceeding at a snail’s pace. Biden is getting a grace period, but national exhaustion with the pandemic is cumulative, and patience is in short supply.
Biden’s trade pick vows to work more closely with allies
       
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s pick to be the top U.S. trade envoy promised to work with America’s allies to combat China’s aggressive trade policies, indicating a break from the Trump administration’s go-it-alone approach. In a confirmation hearing Thursday before the Senate Finance Committee, Katherine Tai, Biden’s choice for U.S. trade representative, said she would “prioritize rebuilding our international alliances and partnerships, and re-engaging with international institutions” to present Beijing with “a united front of U.S. allies.”Tai dodged questions on two politically sensitive questions — whether the Biden administration would drop President Donald Trump’s tariffs on imported steel and aluminum and whether it would revive former President Barack Obama’s Asia-Pacific trade deal that was jettisoned by Trump. Tai, considered a problem-solving pragmatist, is expected to be confirmed easily. In a rare sign of bipartisan agreement, the top Democrat (Rep. Richard Neal of Massachusetts) and Republican (Rep. Keven Brady of Texas) on the House Ways and Means Committee appeared before the Senate panel in support of Tai.
Continental Resources sues government over stalled drilling permits in North Dakota
       
Continental Resources has sued the federal government over dozens of North Dakota drilling permit applications that have stalled during the approval process. The permits filed last year would allow Continental to drill oil and gas wells on federal land in North Dakota. In the lawsuit filed Tuesday, the company said 37 applications should have been approved under the Donald Trump administration by Jan. 20. Continental says final approval for the applications were delayed again when the incoming Joe Biden administration ordered a review of agency decisions. "BLM’s illegal delay in processing these (applications) has injured and will continue to injure Continental.
Trump acquitted, denounced in historic impeachment trial
       
WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump was acquitted Saturday of inciting the horrific attack on the U.S. Capitol, concluding a historic impeachment trial that spared him the first-ever conviction of a current or former U.S. president but exposed the fragility of America’s democratic traditions and left a divided nation to come to terms with the violence sparked by his defeated presidency. The quick trial, the nation’s first of a former president, showed in raw and emotional detail how perilously close the invaders had come to destroying the nation's deep tradition of a peaceful transfer of presidential power after Trump had refused to concede the election. Rallying outside the White House, he unleashed a mob of supporters to “fight like hell” for him at the Capitol just as Congress was certifying Democrat Joe Biden’s victory. As hundreds stormed the building, some in tactical gear engaging in bloody combat with police, lawmakers fled for their lives. Seven Republicans joined all Democrats to convict, but it was far from the two-third threshold required.
Vigorous preparation returns as Biden calls other leaders
       
WASHINGTON (AP) — A new-old ritual is taking shape in the Biden White House, one that starts with bulky briefing packages, war-gaming the “what-ifs,” and Oval Office discussions about how to talk to this or that particular U.S. ally or adversary. Twelve times since he took office, President Joe Biden has dialed up a world leader after reinstituting what was a long-held White House standard mothballed by Donald Trump: vigorous preparation. The changes to telephone diplomacy have been about both style and substance as Biden has sought to send the message to foreign leaders — many embittered by Trump's habit of berating his counterparts and conflating personal interests with U.S. national security — that Biden is determined to reset the U.S. relationship with the world. “It's a central organizing principle as they look to turn the page on Trump and get alliances back on track. The preparation for calls is part of that."
US unwinds Trump policy making asylum-seekers wait in Mexico
       
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Biden administration moved to restore the asylum system to the way it worked for decades Friday by releasing a group of asylum-seekers into the United States, ending their long wait in Mexico and unraveling one of former President Donald Trump’s signature immigration policies. The 25 people who arrived are the first of an estimated 25,000 asylum-seekers with active cases in the “Remain in Mexico" program who will now wait in the U.S. for their court hearings instead of south of the border. President Joe Biden is making good on his promise to end a policy that Trump said was critical to reversing a surge of asylum-seekers, which peaked in 2019. The program, known officially as “Migrant Protection Protocols,” changed the way people traditionally had been treated by the U.S. government as they sought protection from violence and persecution. It exposed them to violence in Mexican border cities and made it difficult to find lawyers and communicate with courts about their cases.
In backing South Carolina GOP chair, Trump remains active
       
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — As political observers mull the future of the Republican Party following the presidency of Donald Trump, the former president is making it clear that he's going to continue to play an active part. McKissick, a longtime Republican activist and consultant, since 2017 has chaired the GOP in South Carolina, where Republicans control both legislative chambers, all statewide offices and all but one congressional seat. Home of the first-in-the-South presidential primaries, South Carolina plays a crucial role in the nominating process, hosting numerous candidates seeking their party's top slots. Trump’s South Carolina ties are deep. Henry McMaster was the country's first statewide-elected official to back Trump, whose primary win here helped cement his frontrunner status.
Oklahoma artist Paul Ruscha sets the table for dubious tribute to Donald Trump - check out the art installation 'Dinner for Donald'
       
The art installation "Dinner for Donald" by artist Paul Ruscha is on display during the “OK/LA" exhibit at Fred Jones Jr. Museum in Norman, Okla. on Friday, Oct. 2, 2020. The piece is dubiously dedicated to former President Donald Trump. Instead of chairs, though, a ring of toilets - topped with rolls of toilet paper - surround "Dinner for Donald," the latest installation of its kind by artist Paul Ruscha. On view through March 7, "OK/LA" features an eclectic array of paintings, photographs, books and more by Mason Williams, Patrick Blackwell, Joe Goode, Jerry McMillan, Paul Ruscha and his older brother, Ed Ruscha. Paul Ruscha's new installation titled “Dinner for Donald," dedicated to President Donald Trump, is featured in the exhibit "OK/LA" at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art in Norman.
Local Muslims said they were glad to see President Joe Biden reverse the so-called Muslim travel ban
       
Eltarhoni said he was glad when President Joe Biden repealed the travel ban but he can't get his wedding day back. They checked all the boxes for a tourist visa," Eltarhoni said. In addition to Libya, the travel ban also included Iran, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. According to U.S. State Department figures, more than 40,000 people were refused visas because of the travel ban. Many of the people who were refused visas included lottery winners and people trying to visit family, those traveling for business or personal reasons and students accepted to U.S. universities.
UPDATED: Flaming Lips' frontman Wayne Coyne describes expanding OKC Space Bubble Concerts: 'looks like something out of a futuristic movie'
       
But yeah, it's utterly, utterly insane. The Space Bubble Concerts have gone viral in the good way - as in, gaining worldwide media coverage - twice. With so few live entertainment options available during the pandemic, Coyne said he thinks the Space Bubble Concerts offer a singular experience on many levels. That's kind of a special feeling that you've done something that no one has ever done before. If the Space Bubble Concerts remain in demand, Coyne said the Lips may stretch their dates at The Criterion into April or May.
Solid sign-ups for Biden’s new ‘Obamacare’ coverage offer
       
HealthCare.gov offers subsidized private health insurance under the Obama-era Affordable Care Act, catering mainly to low- and moderate-income working people. Though the sweetened subsidies last only through the end of next year, their availability is expected to boost insurance coverage. Former President Donald Trump tried repeatedly and unsuccessfully to repeal “Obamacare” and refused to reopen enrollment because of the pandemic. Biden’s special sign-up period features a special emphasis on reaching Black and Latino communities that have borne a heavy burden from COVID-19. Some estimates range from 5 million to 10 million, while the Congressional Budget Office suggests a lower number, more like 3 million.
Police uncover 'possible plot' by militia to breach US Capitol on Thursday
       
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Capitol Police say they have intelligence showing there is a "possible plot" by a militia group to breach the U.S. Capitol on Thursday. The revelation was detailed in a statement from the Capitol Police. It comes at the same time the acting police chief is testifying before a House subcommittee. The threat comes nearly two months after thousands of supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol in a violent insurrection as Congress was voting to certify Joe Biden's electoral win. So far, about 300 people have been charged with federal crimes for their roles in the riot.
Iraqi Airbase Housing U.S. Troops Attacked by Rockets, Iran Militia Believed Involved
       
The perpetrator was not immediately clear and Iraqi authorities were still conducting an investigation as of Wednesday morning. However, Iraqi officials issued carefully crafted statements shortly afterward that indicate they believe Iran was behind the attack. It houses troops from the U.S.-led coalition combating the Islamic State group and other extremists in Iraq and Syria. Speculation has emerged that Iran may not still control the Iraqi militias as closely as it did during Soleimani's tenure. However, Kirby told reporters last week that the Defense Department still considers the forces aligned with Tehran.
Wisconsin hunters kill 216 wolves in less than 60 hours, sparking uproar
       
Hunters and trappers in Wisconsin killed 216 gray wolves last week during the state’s 2021 wolf hunting season – more than 82% above the authorities’ stated quota, sparking uproar among animal-lovers and conservationists, according to reports. This hunt comes in the wake of federal policy, and local litigation, that stripped gray wolves of protection. In the 1950s gray wolves, which are native to Wisconsin, were extirpated from the state due to years of unregulated hunting. Following the implementation of these protections, gray wolves emerged and spread from a northern Minnesota “stronghold”, the Journal Sentinel said. In October 2020, the Trump administration removed the gray wolf from the Endangered Species List.
Far-right militia group plotting to ‘breach’ the US Capitol on March 4, police warn
       
“We have obtained intelligence that shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group on Thursday, March 4,” the US Capitol police said in a statement on Wednesday. Please enter your email address Please enter a valid email address Please enter a valid email address SIGN UP Thanks for signing up to the Inside Washington newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. Read our privacy notice Thanks for signing up to the Inside Washington newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. The vague but ongoing threats of violence underscore the difficult decisions confronting officials at the Capitol for balancing security, government transparency, and patriotic tourism. At a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing with Capitol security officials last week, Senator Angus King highlighted the dilemma facing members and those responsible for their safety.
The latest conservative outrage over Dr Seuss is a wonderful opportunity for the left
       
Republican Congressman Greg Steube predictably brought up new conservative martyr figure Mr Potato Head , tweeting: “Mr Potato Head is gender neutral, Dr Seuss is cancelled, and Amazon is banning books. Kids are just free to assemble them into whatever combinations they want, which must have already been the case in households equipped both with a Mr Potato Head and a Mrs Potato Head. Secondly, Dr Seuss Enterprises said it made the decision last year . Please enter your email address Please enter a valid email address Please enter a valid email address SIGN UP Thanks for signing up to the The View from Westminster newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. Read our privacy notice Thanks for signing up to the The View from Westminster newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent.
Photographer uses her vagina as a camera to take photos of friends and ex-lovers
       
An artist who uses her vagina as a camera shutter to take photographs of male subjects is among the creatives whose work features in a book providing an 'unapologetic look' at women's sexuality. A Woman's Right To Pleasure, the brainchild of writer Alexandra Weiss and her colleagues at New York's Black Book gallery, is an erotic assortment of artwork and essays which celebrates female pleasure. One of its contributors is Brooklyn based artist Dani Lessnau, who captures some of the few portraits of male nudes in the book by using her vagina as a camera shutter. Lessnau said it 'hit her' that if Hamilton could do that, what was stopping her putting a camera in another bodily orifice. A Woman's Right To Pleasure, which sold out in weeks on its release last year and now has an accompanying podcast, certainly does its bit to change that narrative.
Michelle Obama discusses racism while plugging new book
       
Despite being asked about racism and the Black Lives Matter movement by anchor Robin Roberts, neither woman made reference to the controversy surrounding the ban on several of Dr. Seuss' books. Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the company that preserves and protects the author's legacy, made the announcement on Tuesday, which coincided with the late author and illustrator's birthday. Biden broke presidential tradition when he left out any mention of Dr. Seuss during his proclamation on Monday; both Michelle's husband Barack and Donald Trump recognized Dr. Seuss' contributions several times in their annual proclamations during their respective presidencies. Michelle also has a close personal connection to Dr. Seuss, having read many of the authors books to children during her time as First Lady, from 2008 to 2016. Seuss ok when Michelle Obama read it to children but now has racist undertones when our First Lady donates books?'
Capitol Police Chief: Threats to lawmakers almost DOUBLED in the first two months of 2021
       
The number of threats made to lawmakers has almost doubled in the first two months of 2021 compared to last year, acting head of Capitol Police revealed Wednesday, as fallout ensues following the Capitol riots on January 6. 'In the first two months of 2021, there has been a 93.54 percent increase in threats to Members compared to the same period in 2020,' Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman said in prepared statements. During Wednesday's hearing, Pittman also plans to outline security needs at the Capitol – not just in lawmakers' home districts. 'On the Capitol Complex, the level of existential threats to the U.S. Capitol and Grounds areincreasing as well,' Pittman prepared in her testimony. Eventually, the National Guard was brought in to help fend off the remaining rioters.
Joe Biden's Cabinet is half-empty after a month in office
       
President Joe Biden´s Cabinet is taking shape at the slowest pace of any in modern history, with just over a dozen nominees for top posts confirmed more than a month into his tenure. Among Biden´s 23 nominees with Cabinet rank, just 13 have been confirmed by the Senate, or a little over half. On Tuesday, Biden's cabinet was thrown into further uncertainty when his nominee to lead the White House budget office, Neera Tanden, withdrew from consideration after her nomination faced opposition from key senators on both sides of the aisle. The Biden administration has prioritized confirming those nominees who are key to national security, the economy and public health decisions. President Joe Biden's Cabinet and Cabinet-level picks.
Pentagon took 3 hours and 19 minutes to approve sending National Guard to the Capitol after breach
       
The head of the D.C. National Guard told lawmakers Wednesday that it took more than three hours for the Pentagon to approve sending forces to shore up defenses following the breach of the Capitol by a MAGA mob Jan. 6th. Consequently, at 5:20pm (in under 20 minutes) the District of Columbia National Guard arrived at the Capitol. The head of Capitol Police sought assistance at 1:49 pm, the head of the D.C. National Guard will testify. Approval came after three hoursDC National Guard stand outside the Capitol, Wednesday night, Jan. 6, 2021, after a day of rioting protesters. The Army secretary had also asked for a 'concept of operation' before any such deployment - something he says he found 'unusual.'
US police say they have intelligence showing plot 'to breach Capitol' on March 4
       
U.S. Capitol Police revealed Wednesday it has received intelligence reports that indicated 'a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group' on March 4. The Capitol is being guarded by almost 5,000 troops ahead of Thursday and US Capitol Police requested 4,900 National Guard troops remain in the nation's capital until at least March 12. Members of the National Guard pictured on TuesdayU.S. National Guard soldiers patrol outside the Hart Senate Office Building on Tuesday. The Michigan National Guard released a statement saying reports of undercooked and inadequate food was 'very concerning' and 'unacceptable.' DailyMail.com has contacted the DC National Guard for comment about how the issue is being resolved.
Biden: With Defense Production Act, enough vaccines by end of May – People's World
       
A worker packs a box of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine into a cooler for shipping from a facility in Shepherdsville, Ky., Monday, March 1, 2021. Biden credited the stepped-up timetable to his ongoing use of the Defense Production Act and the establishment of a partnership between two long-time corporate rivals, Merck and Johnson and Johnson. Biden said the country is in a “war” against the coronavirus, justifying his sweeping measures against it. “When we came into office, the prior administration had contracted for not nearly enough vaccine to cover adults in America. First, the Republican governor of one huge state announces he will ignore the president’s pleas for caution and that he will end mask mandates and immediately open up his state entirely.
Former GOP speaker says Cruz a ‘reckless a**hole’, and says he repeatedly told Trump to ‘shut up’ when asked for advice
       
Mr Boehner made the comments during an address at Stanford University, adding in reference to Mr Cruz: “I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.”Please enter your email address Please enter a valid email address Please enter a valid email address SIGN UP Thanks for signing up to the Inside Washington newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. Read our privacy notice Thanks for signing up to the Inside Washington newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. Read our privacy noticeDuring his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida, last week, Mr Cruz responded to Mr Boehner’s comments. “Donald Trump: He would call me fairly often when he first took office for advice or conversation,” Mr Boehner wrote.
The Trumps are trying to sell a Florida home for $49 million after buying it from the former president's sister for $18 million in 2018
       
Former President Trump's sister sold the house to an LLC controlled by Eric and Donald Trump Jr. for $18.25 million in 2018. Located next door to Trump's Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, the home is technically owned by 1125 South Ocean LLC, according to the Palm Beach Daily News. Trump's name is nowhere to be found on the listing, but it does come with a Mar-a-Lago membership. Trump's sister bought the house for $11.5 million back in 2004. The limited liability company is based in Delaware and led by Eric as president with Donald Trump Jr. as vice president, according to the Daily News.
Capitol Police say they have intelligence of a ‘possible plot’ by a militia group to breach US Capitol on Thursday
       
The threat comes nearly two months after thousands of supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol in a violent insurrection as Congress was voting to certify Joe Biden’s electoral win. So far, about 300 people have been charged with federal crimes for their roles in the riot. Five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died.
House Oversight Committee reissues subpoena for Trump financial records
       
Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-New York, speaks during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on Legislative Proposals to Put the Postal Service on Sustainable Financial Footing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on February 24, 2021. The House Oversight Committee reissued a subpoena for years of financial records from former President Donald Trump and his businesses as it presses on with investigations into potential conflicts of interest and self dealing. The same day, the House Oversight Committee re-sent its own subpoena to Mazars, according to a court filing late Tuesday in Washington federal court. The committee had first subpoenaed Mazars in April 2019, when the inquiry was led by the late Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md. The most recent filing in the yearslong case in U.S. District Court in Washington also signaled that the fight over Trump's records could drag on for months longer.
Police preparing for possible militia 'plot to breach the Capitol' in Washington on Thursday
       
National Guardsmen walk the grounds of the U.S. Capitol on the third day of U.S President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial in Washington, U.S., February 11, 2021. The U.S. Capitol Police Department said Wednesday that it has obtained intelligence showing a "possible plot to breach the Capitol" on Thursday "by an unidentified militia group." "We are taking this intelligence seriously," Capitol police said in a press release, which also said that authorities are prepared for potential violence. Five people died in connection with that attack, among them Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. Some QAnon followers believe that Trump will be able to re-take power that day.
Rockets fired at Iraqi airbase hosting U.S.-led coalition troops
       
Ten rockets were fired at an Iraqi military base hosting U.S.-led coalition troops Wednesday, the latest in a series of rocket attacks in Iraq with this one just days before the Pope is due to visit the country. The rockets targeted Ain Al-Asad airbase, northwest of Baghdad, at 7:20 a.m. local time Wednesday (11:20 p.m. Tuesday ET). Wednesday’s rocket attack follows a U.S. airstrike last week in eastern Syria that killed one fighter in an Iranian-backed militia and wounded two others, according to the Pentagon. NBC News has previously reported that Iranian-backed militias were most likely behind the Irbil rocket attack in February, and that the weapons and tactics resembled previous attacks by the Iranian-linked militias. However, it was unclear if Iran had encouraged or ordered the rocket attack.
The oil industry is getting greener faster as U.S. policy shifts to climate change
       
Nick Oxford | ReutersThe greening of the American oil industry has gone into overdrive. Occidental Petroleum CEO VIcki Hollub told the conference her goal is to produce net zero carbon oil. She said that in 15 to 20 years, Occidental will be a carbon management company, not just an an oil company. BP has expanded in wind and other technology and Looney says it will be an integrated energy company in the future, rather than an international oil company. They're accelerating, and they're certainly spending much more time marketing their efforts on carbon capture and a low carbon future.
Poll: Americans are more interested in getting stimulus than in seeing bipartisanship support for bill
       
WASHINGTON – Americans would rather have stimulus checks in hand quickly than see bipartisan support for President Joe Biden's COVID-19 legislation, according to a new poll from Monmouth University. Exclusive:Defeated and impeached, Trump still commands the loyalty of the GOP's votersMore than two-thirds of Americans (68%) said that $1,400 stimulus checks should remain in the stimulus package even if it meant the bill had no support from the opposite party. More:With the economy healing, is Biden's $1.9T COVID-19 relief package too much? Republicans critical of the stimulus bill have claimed that the proposal would disproportionately aid Democratic-leaning states and claimed the bill would have some effect on when states and local governments could reopen their economies. While the upcoming stimulus package does not include a provision that would cancel student debt, the poll found that 61% of Americans support canceling up to $10,000 in college debt for anyone with outstanding federal loans.
Live Updates: Biden’s Stimulus Plan Depends on a United Democratic Front
       
And I believe that this would be major stimulus package number three, correct? But of course, that would mean not having any Republican support for this giant stimulus package? michael barbaroSo to summarize, the Republican critique of these provisions is that they’re not required in an emergency and that really, they’re just Democratic priorities that could be debated and passed outside of an emergency stimulus package and should be passed outside of an emergency stimulus package? But yes, they are saying the Democrats should not put a bunch of these provisions into an emergency stimulus package. michael barbaroOn Monday afternoon, Democratic Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer, said that the Senate would begin debating the stimulus package in the coming days.
Keith Olbermann slammed for saying Texas shouldn’t get COVID vaccine
       
Left-wing political pundit Keith Olbermann is drawing heat again, this time after he said that Texas shouldn’t get the COVID-19 vaccine. In response to a tweet from Texas Gov. “I just think it’s wrong to make gross generalizations about the lives and potential deaths of an entire population. It is mean-spirited and unhelpful on every front,” wrote a Dallas Morning News reporter, Evan Grant. Last November, he was slammed on Twitter for calling President Trump “a whiny little Kunta Kinte,” in a ham-fisted attempt to twist the name of the “Roots” character into a crude insult.
Borat is dead: Why Sacha Baron Cohen is done with the character forever
       
Borat is hanging up his iconic gray suit for good. On Sunday, Sacha Baron Cohen, 49, told “Golden Globes” viewers that last year’s “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” the long anticipated follow-up to 2006’s “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,” would be his last with the beloved character. The British satirist Sacha Baron Cohen (pulling cart) recently revealed that filming the “Borat” sequel was “the most dangerous project” he had ever undertaken. The gray suit is locked up and not coming out again,” the filmmaker said. Despite threats on his life, Baron Cohen, 49, is proud of what he suggests was a vital work of political parody.
More than 200,000 Americans sign up for ACA health plans during special enrollment period
       
But the demand for ACA health plans during this early phase of the unprecedented three-month enrollment extension was a fraction of the enrollment during the first two weeks of the most recent regular enrollment time, when 1.6 million Americans signed up during the first half of November. ADADOrdinarily, the federal ACA insurance marketplace is open mainly during an annual enrollment season — a six-week period near the end of the year during the Trump administration. Days after he was sworn into office in January, Biden directed health officials to reopen the online federal insurance marketplace for three months, until mid-May. Among other things, the package would increase subsidies — received by nearly 9 in 10 people who have ACA health plans — to help pay monthly insurance premiums. The insurance sold through federal and state ACA marketplaces is intended for Americans who cannot get affordable health benefits through a job.
Rep. Crenshaw slams Biden's border policy: 'Prioritizing illegal immigrants over US citizens’
       
Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, says he believes the Biden administration’s immigration policies are "prioritizing illegal immigrants over U.S. The comments come amid an Axios report citing DHS projections that 117,000 unaccompanied children are expected to cross the border in 2021. This administration is prioritizing illegal immigrants over U.S. citizens. What immediately needs to happen is they need to reinstitute the migrant protection protocols, which is the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPIt creates a disincentive to just cross, because they know they’re going to be sent right back to Mexico.
Migrants wear Biden T-shirts at US-Mexico border, demand clearer policies
       
Migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border on Tuesday were photographed wearing T-shirts in support of President Biden at the San Ysidro crossing port in Tijuana, Baja California state. One apparent migrant held up a poster that read, "Biden, please let us in!" Prospective U.S. residents and progressive Democrats are hoping the new president will implement more lenient immigration policies than former President Trump, though some politicians like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., have expressed concern with Biden's use of migrant holding facilities at the border. 108 MIGRANTS RELEASED BY BORDER PATROL IN TEXAS TEST POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS, OFFICIALS SAYThere has been a recent surge in the number of unaccompanied minors arriving at the U.S. border from Mexico, according to The Wall Street Journal, though the Biden administration has rejected the term "crisis" to describe the situation. The president is working to process as many as 25,000 asylum seekers who were forced to wait in Mexico under the Trump administration's "Remain-in-Mexico" policy under the Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP) program.
Hydroxychloroquine not recommended for coronavirus treatment: WHO panel
       
An expert panel advising the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a strong recommendation against using hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19. "The panel judged that almost all people would not consider this drug worthwhile," the guidance continues. The recommendations are part of a "living guideline" open to updates, by the WHO and support from MAGIC Evidence Ecosystem Foundation. GET THE FOX NEWS APPThe international health agency last October announced four drugs, including hydroxychloroquine, were found to have "little or no effect" on hospitalized patients in a study. Former President Trump told reporters in May 2020 he was taking hydroxychloroquine to prevent getting coronavirus.
Celebrities react to Gov. Greg Abbott's decision to reopen Texas, end statewide mask mandate
       
Greg Abbott’s announcement that he plans to fully reopen the state amid the coronavirus pandemic. "Texas governor: Let’s kill everybody," wrote comedian Mike Birbiglia. It’s all So close to Maskless Texas," wrote Rosanna Arquette. "Greg Abbott’s decision to reopen Texas is premature," Stephen King bluntly stated. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPCurrently, Texas has the second-highest most cases in the United States behind only California.
Police preparing for possible militia 'plot to breach the Capitol' in Washington on Thursday
       
National Guardsmen walk the grounds of the U.S. Capitol on the third day of U.S President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial in Washington, U.S., February 11, 2021. The U.S. Capitol Police Department said Wednesday that it has obtained intelligence showing a "possible plot to breach the Capitol" on Thursday "by an unidentified militia group." "We are taking this intelligence seriously," Capitol police said in a press release, which also said that authorities are prepared for potential violence. "Due to the sensitive nature of this information we cannot provide additional details at this time." The disclosure of the possible threat comes two months after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, when thousands of supporters of then-President Donald Trump invaded the halls of Congress and disrupted the confirmation of President Joe Biden's election.
National security officials testify about Jan. 6 attack on Capitol at Senate hearing
       
WASHINGTON — Two Senate committees will hear testimony Wednesday from national security officials about the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol as Congress ramps up its investigation into what unfolded that day. Officials from the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, Defense Department and Washington, D.C., National Guard will face questions from lawmakers on two Senate committees: Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and Rules and Administration. Salesses said that at 3:04 p.m., Miller “ordered the full mobilization" of the D.C. National Guard to provide support. The witnesses told lawmakers that they blamed the Jan. 6 attack on poor intelligence and a slow response from the federal government. Separately on Wednesday, acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman is set to testify before the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees funding for the legislative branch at a hearing about her agency’s budget.
ASML extends sales deal with Chinese chipmaker SMIC to end of 2021
       
FILE PHOTO: A logo of Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) is seen at China International Semiconductor Expo (IC China 2020) following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Shanghai, China October 14, 2020. In 2019, the Trump administration pressed Dutch officials here to cancel a sale of an EUV machine to SMIC. At that time, Dutch officials declined to renew a license needed to ship the tool. Dutch officials had not approved a license to ship an EUV tool to China as of late February, according to government records. In its statement on Wednesday, ASML said the volume purchase deal with SMIC related to an older technology called deep ultraviolet lithography, or DUV.
Ex-Google chief: European tech ‘not big enough’ to compete with China alone
       
In an interview with POLITICO, Schmidt, who chairs the U.S. National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI), said Europe is "simply not big enough on the platform side" to compete. But differences on privacy, trade and national security are driving a wedge between the two. Washington and Brussels are in the midst of thorny negotiations around data sharing. It's in mutual interests of both sides to have more data sharing for national security,” he said. The NSCAI report recommends the proposed Emerging Technology Coalition lead negotiations on a new transatlantic data sharing deal, and stressed that data sharing agreements for specific purposes, such as facilitating pandemic response efforts, “would have a greater chance of success” than a more general deal.
John Boehner Takes Less-Than-Subtle Shots At Trump, Ted Cruz On Book Jacket
       
After word leaked that Boehner blurted out, “ Ted Cruz, go f**k yourself ” while recording the audiobook version of “ On the House ,” Punchbowl News posted the juicy-quote-filled dust jacket of the hardcover on Tuesday. Boehner ripped the Texas senator and even took a shot at former President Donald Trump . But the calls came in less and less as his tenure went on. “I’d never been sucker-punched like that in my life,” Boehner wrote. Of course, you’ll probably have to buy the book for the full context.
NRCC chair cautions Trump against backing primary challenges for Republicans who voted to impeach
       
Emmer predicted in an interview with POLITICO Playbook authors Eugene Daniels and Rachael Bade that he and Trump will have a conversation “at some point." With broad support in the Republican Party, Trump still looms large within the GOP and has already begun wading into 2022 primaries. Emmer voted to certify the election results. “I think we all perhaps as we go forward should re-examine what the Constitution says.”But the NRCC chairman stopped short of saying Trump and Republicans should stop pushing false claims that Trump won the election. Emmer added that Republicans should “celebrate” Trump’s policies going forward, saying they brought Republicans “a lot of new voters.” Emmer specifically pointed to Trump’s policies on energy, immigration and his “America First” agenda.
Biden health pick taking heat for support of abortion rights
       
President Joe Biden’s pick for health secretary is taking heat for his defense of abortion rights from a tag team of Republicans looking to define him —and the new administration— as out of the mainstream. President Joe Biden’s pick for health secretary is taking heat for his defense of abortion rights from a tag team of Republicans looking to define him —and the new administration— as out of the mainstream. (Greg Nash/Pool via AP)WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s pick for health secretary is taking heat from Republicans for his actions in support of abortion rights. It’s a test, too, for national groups opposed to abortion, trying to deny a president who favors abortion rights his choice to run the Department of Health and Human Services. She disagrees with his support for abortion rights, but finds common ground elsewhere.
General details hourslong delay in getting Guard to Capitol
       
Guard troops who had been waiting on buses were then rushed to the Capitol. Senators are eager to grill officials from the Pentagon, the National Guard and the Justice and Homeland Security departments about their preparations for Jan. 6. The officials at the hearing last week, including ousted Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, gave conflicting accounts of those negotiations. The hearing comes as thousands of National Guard troops are still patrolling the fenced-in Capitol and as multiple committees across Congress are launching investigations into mistakes made on Jan. 6. Capitol Police leaders have said they were unaware of the report at the time, even though the FBI had forwarded it to the department.
What happened to George Floyd, whose alleged killer goes on trial next week
       
The clerk asked him to return the cigarettes, but Mr Floyd refused, and seemed “drunk and not in control of himself,” according to 911 logs. Four officers — Mr Chauvin, plus Tou Thao , and new recruits Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng — arrived at the scene. Police said they found Mr Floyd sitting on his car, where he appeared intoxicated and resisted arrest. He and Mr Chauvin may have actually crossed paths before, when Mr Floyd was working as a bouncer inside the El Nuevo Rodeo night club, and Mr Chauvin was working outside as the club’s off-duty police officer. Read MoreMinneapolis cancels plan to hire social media influencers to spin George Floyd murder trialGeorge Floyd kin joins protest anthem album projectFederal grand jury hearing evidence in death of George Floyd
National Guard chief says it took over 3 hours for Pentagon leaders to grant Jan. 6 request
       
Democrats say that Republicans are effectively returning to one of the ugliest tactics in the state’s history — oppressive laws aimed at disenfranchising voters. New restrictions on voting have already passed in Iowa, and multiple other states are lining up similar efforts, while the Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments this week on another challenge to the Voting Rights Act. Now Democrats and voting rights groups are alarmed that Republicans are again trying to change the state’s voting laws ahead of critical Senate and governor’s races in 2022. No-excuse absentee voting was approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature in 2005 and was used by many voters during the pandemic. “They’re creating a line management problem,” said Aunna Dennis, the executive director of Common Cause Georgia, a voting rights group.
Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax won't work. This will
       
Instead of a wealth tax, Biden would target capital gains and inheritances for high-income Americans. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen highlighted this when she said recently that a wealth tax has “very difficult implementation problems.”There could be legal problems with a wealth tax as well, because of a quirk in the Constitution. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington, who's a co-sponsor of the Warren wealth tax bill, told Yahoo Finance recently that valuing assets under a wealth tax wouldn't be that difficult because the IRS already does it under the estate tax. Rep. Biden’s capital gains and estate tax plans would require no new structure in the tax code or unusual enforcement mechanisms. Plus, unlike the wealth tax, it has been the law before, and there’s no question of whether it would work.
Pentagon watchdog hits freshman Rep. Ronny Jackson with scathing report on tenure as White House physician
       
Some of the allegations surfaced when President Donald Trump picked him to run the Veterans Administration in spring 2018. Jackson, an Amarillo Republican, flatly denied the findings, which could trigger a military review that results in a loss of retirement pay. “Three years ago I was the subject of a political hit job because I stood with President Trump. Jackson placed second in a 15-person March primary, lagging 39-20 to Josh Winegarner, an executive at the Texas Cattle Feeders Association. The Trump White House stymied the inquiry, helping to stall its release until well after Jackson’s victories in a primary runoff and then the general election.
Elite pedigrees are the norm for the Right’s phony populists
       
But, as many have pointed out, their anti-elite screeds often neglect to mention their own elite pedigrees. Kennedy, who slammed the “cultured, cosmopolitan, goat’s milk latte-drinking, avocado toast-eating insider’s elite” at a Trump rally in Louisiana, went to Oxford University. To be clear, these guys didn’t invent populism — not even the phony kind that they and Trump have dined off of for years. It’s that these pretend populists are talking this way about “real Americans” in service of a guy — Trump — who clearly hates Americans. Their pedigree isn’t the real hypocrisy — you can be well-educated and also believe political leaders are too elitist.
Solid sign-ups for Biden’s new “Obamacare” coverage offer
       
HealthCare.gov offers subsidized private health insurance under the Obama-era Affordable Care Act, catering mainly to low- and moderate-income working people. Though the sweetened subsidies only last through the end of next year, their availability is expected to boost insurance coverage. Former President Donald Trump tried repeatedly and unsuccessfully to repeal “Obamacare” and refused to reopen enrollment because of the pandemic. Biden’s special sign-up period features a special emphasis on reaching Black and Latino communities that have borne a heavy burden from COVID-19. Some estimates range from 5 million to 10 million, while the Congressional Budget Office suggests a lower number, more like 3 million.
General details hourslong delay in getting Guard to Capitol
       
Guard troops who had been waiting on buses were then rushed to the Capitol. Senators are eager to grill officials from the Pentagon, the National Guard and the Justice and Homeland Security departments about their preparations for Jan. 6. The officials at the hearing last week, including ousted Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, gave conflicting accounts of those negotiations. The hearing comes as thousands of National Guard troops are still patrolling the fenced-in Capitol and as multiple committees across Congress are launching investigations into mistakes made on Jan. 6. Capitol Police leaders have said they were unaware of the report at the time, even though the FBI had forwarded it to the department.
Solid sign-ups for Biden's new 'Obamacare' coverage offer
       
HealthCare.gov will be accepting applications through May 15, a period about twice as long as the regular annual open enrollment. The government has a $50 million advertising budget, five times what the Trump administration would spend on annual open enrollment. Former President Donald Trump tried repeatedly and unsuccessfully to repeal “Obamacare" and refused to reopen enrollment because of the pandemic. Biden's special sign-up period features a special emphasis on reaching Black and Latino communities that have borne a heavy burden from COVID-19. “Obamacare” now covers more than 20 million people through a combination of subsidized private plans and, in most states, expanded Medicaid.
Trump’s cash plea could complicate GOP fundraising efforts
       
“President Trump’s Legacy is in your hands,” another pleaded. Save America has more than $80 million cash on hand, including $3 million raised after the CPAC speech, according to a person familiar with the total. Money raised through Trump’s website now goes to Save America JFC, a joint fundraising agreement between the two. Regardless of Trump’s next move, the GOP is unlikely to remove him from its sales pitch anytime soon. “Our digital fundraising strategy is simple: raise as much money as possible,” said Andrew Romeo, a spokesman for the RSLC.
General details hourslong delay in getting Guard to Capitol
       
“Any minute that we lost, I need to know why,” Klobuchar said. The hearing comes as thousands of National Guard troops are still patrolling the fenced-in Capitol and as multiple committees across Congress are launching investigations into mistakes made on Jan. 6. The probes are largely focused on security missteps and the origins of the extremism that led hundreds of Trump supporters to break through the doors and windows of the Capitol, hunt for lawmakers and temporarily stop the counting of electoral votes. As the Senate hears from the federal officials, acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman will testify before a House panel that is also looking into how security failed. In a hearing last week before the same subcommittee, she conceded there were multiple levels of failures but denied that law enforcement failed to take seriously warnings of violence before the insurrection.
The 'bad girls' of gangland LA: Janette Beckman's best photograph
       
But to me, they seemed like a big familyThe women in this picture called themselves the Rivera Bad Girls. One works for the gang rehabilitation group Homeboy Industries, and the other works in human resources and drives a Mercedes. I thought I’d done the photos in 1982 but she said: “What colour was the car? Album covers are square, so I thought I’d better buy a square-format camera, and then I fell in love with it. A lot of the classic pictures I shot during the hip-hop era – Salt-N-Pepa, Run DMC – were done with that camera.
Texas plan to lift Covid mask mandate branded ‘absolutely reckless’ by California Gov as state says it will reopen fully
       
A DECISION to abolish the state-wide mask mandate in Texas has been branded "absolutely reckless" by California Governor Gavin Newsom. 4 California Governor Gavin Newson has branded Abbott's decision as 'absolutely wreckless' Credit: AFP or licensors“It’s just that now state mandates are no longer needed,” he said. "In fact, our case numbers have fallen to the point where no county meets the original criteria for a mask mandate." Governors across the US have begun easing restrictions - but Texas is one of the largest states to halt the mask mandate. Most of the country has lived under mask mandates during the pandemic, with at least 37 states requiring face coverings to some degree.
Tim Allen Opens Up About Infamous Drug Arrest; Laughs Off Trump Critics
       
Tim Allen Opens Up About Infamous Drug Arrest; Laughs Off Trump Critics"What I’ve done is just not joined into, as I call it, the 'we culture.' I’m not telling anybody else how to live," the 'Last Man Standing' star says. Tim Allen is making headlines after opening up about his infamous decades-old cocaine arrest and federal prison time, as well as the delight he took in Donald Trump riling up his critics. "After my old man died, I really just played games with people and told adults what they wanted to hear and then stole their booze," Allen told Maron. "I just shut up and did what I was told," the Last Man Standing said of his time in prison.
Tim Allen chats two-year prison sentence for cocaine and being a conservative in Hollywood
       
Back in 1978, Golden Globe winner Tim Allen faced life in prison after selling 1.4lbs of cocaine to an undercover officer at Kalamazoo-Battle Creek International Airport in Michigan. After serving eight months, Allen (born Timothy Alan Dick) got used to prison life day-to-day by doing what he was told and learning how to 'shut up.' 'Meatless Mike': The Emmy nominee executive produces and stars as sporting goods store executive Mike Baxter/Tim Taylor in the ninth season of the sitcom Last Man Standing, which airs Thursdays on FoxReunited! The Western Michigan University grad executive produces and stars as sporting goods store executive Mike Baxter/Tim Taylor in the ninth season of the sitcom Last Man Standing, which airs Thursdays on Fox. Tim also executive produces and co-hosts the 10-episode builder reality competition Assembly Required with Richard Karn, which airs Tuesdays on the History Channel.
Michelle Obama discusses racism while plugging new book
       
Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the company that preserves and protects the author's legacy, made the announcement on Tuesday, which coincided with the late author and illustrator's birthday. Biden broke presidential tradition when he left out any mention of Dr. Seuss during his proclamation on Monday. Both Michelle's husband Barack and Donald Trump recognized Dr. Seuss' contributions several times in their annual proclamations during their respective presidencies. Michelle also has a close personal connection to Dr. Seuss, having read many of the authors books to children during her time as First Lady, from 2008 to 2016. Michelle also shared how she is teaching her own daughters to use 'the power of their voices' in her first interview since Joe Biden's inauguration.
Pentagon took 3 hours and 19 minutes to approve sending National Guard to the Capitol after breach
       
The head of the D.C. National Guard will tell lawmakers that it took more than three hours for the Pentagon to approve sending forces to shore up defenses following the breach of the Capitol by a MAGA mob Jan. 6th. Consequently, at 5:20pm (in under 20 minutes) the District of Columbia National Guard arrived at the Capitol. The head of Capitol Police sought assistance at 1:49 pm, the head of the D.C. National Guard will testify. Approval came after three hoursDC National Guard stand outside the Capitol, Wednesday night, Jan. 6, 2021, after a day of rioting protesters. The Army secretary had also asked for a 'concept of operation' before any such deployment - something he says he found 'unusual.'
‘3 Hours and 19 Minutes Later’: D.C. National Guard Chief Testifies About Protracted Delay Between Alert to the Army and Pentagon Approval
       
“The approval for Chief Sund’s request would eventually come from the Acting Secretary of Defense and be relayed to me by Army Senior Leaders at 5:08pm–3 hours and 19 minutes later,” Walker wrote in his prepared remarks. Consequently, at 5:20pm (in under 20 minutes) the District of Columbia National Guard arrived at the Capitol. “Over the weekend of January 2-3, 2021, Office of the Secretary of Defense staff, contacted the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Park Police, the U.S. Marshals Service, the FBI, and the U.S. Capitol Police to determine if they planned to request assistance,” Salesses said. (Screenshot from the Senate Homeland Security Committee live-stream)Have a tip we should know?
Pence pushes false election fraud claims in denouncing Democratic reform bill
       
(CNN) Former Vice President Mike Pence is seizing on a Democratic-led initiative to streamline election standards to again push false claims of voting irregularities in one of his first public statements since leaving office. Pence expressed concern about "the integrity of the 2020 election," citing "significant" and "troubling" voting irregularities in an op-ed for the conservative publication Daily Signal. There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud that would have changed the outcome of the 2020 election, and Pence did not make any specific claims in his op-ed. Rather, the former vice president continued to promote the misinformation pushed by former President Donald Trump that led Trump supporters to storm the US Capitol as Pence joined the Senate to certify the election's results. While in office, Pence never publicly challenged Trump's false claims that the election was stolen from him, but he didn't address the matter after he certified the results on January 6.
No Evidence Left-Wing Activists Attacked US Capitol, FBI Chief Says
       
FILE - Supporters of President Donald Trump gather outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Jan. 6, 2021. The attack left five people dead, including a Capitol Police officer, and more than 100 other officers injured. “The FBI over the course of 2020 put out a number of intelligence products specifically warning about domestic violent extremism. Wray was asked repeatedly whether the FBI had any evidence that the attack was organized by “fake Trump protesters,” left-wing anti-fascists and anarchists. The baseless claim that the attack on the Capitol was a “false flag” operation carried out by antifa activists started soon after the riot ended.
Cruz unleashes on Democrats after report finds 3 million 'students seem to have simply fallen off the grid' during remote learning
       
Sen. Ted Cruz and other Republicans excoriated Democrats and the government after a report found an estimated 3 million children have “fallen off the grid” and are not showing up to their virtual classes. STUDENTS GO MISSING AS REMOTE LEARNING TAKES HOLD DURING PANDEMICRep. Nancy Mace and others joined Cruz in condemning the government for lockdowns that reportedly resulted in so many children going missing. Good job,” Mace tweetedThis is what happens when anti-science fearmongers, petty tyrants, and government union officials are the ones making decisions. https://t.co/sMw5FGrWi6 — Rep. Nancy Mace (@RepNancyMace) March 2, 2021The consequences of failing to reopen our schools will affect our students for years to come. “South Dakota students have been learning IN THE CLASSROOM this entire school year,” South Dakota Gov.
Police preparing for possible militia 'plot to breach the Capitol' in Washington on Thursday
       
National Guardsmen walk the grounds of the U.S. Capitol on the third day of U.S President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial in Washington, U.S., February 11, 2021. The U.S. Capitol Police Department said Wednesday that it has obtained intelligence showing a "possible plot to breach the Capitol" on Thursday "by an unidentified militia group." "We are taking this intelligence seriously," Capitol police said in a press release, which also said that authorities are prepared for potential violence. Capitol Police said in their statement Wednesday that they are "aware of and prepared for any potential threats towards members of Congress or towards the Capitol complex." "Our Department is working with our local, state, and federal partners to stop any threats to the Capitol."
Bill Burr defends 'Mandalorian' co-star Gina Carano
       
“Mandalorian” actor and stand-up comedian Bill Burr has flocked to the defense of his controversial co-star Gina Carano, who was recently fired from the Disney+ show over controversial tweets. Lucas Film ripped Carano’s statements as “abhorrent” and promptly jettisoned her from the “Mandalorian,” stressing there “are no plans” for her ever to return. While most Mando collaborators remained tight-lipped over her cancellation, Burr, 52, defended Carano on a recent episode of the Bill Bert podcast, which he hosts with fellow comic Bert Kreischer. Bill Burr played mercenary Migs Mayfield, who fights alongside Gina Carano’s Cara Dune in Season 2 Disney+“She was an absolute sweetheart,” said the “F Is For Family” creator, who played sardonic mercenary Migs Mayfield alongside Carano in Season 2. There’s people waiting, just laying in the weeds,” fumed Burr, who recently faced backlash over his SNL monologue attacking white women.
National security officials to testify at Senate hearing about Capitol riot
       
Officials from Homeland Security, the Justice Department, the Pentagon and the National Guard are scheduled to testify Wednesday about missteps involved in preparing for and responding to the Capitol riot, as the Senate continues its investigation into the events on Jan. 6. He testified that former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund pleaded with DC and Pentagon officials to send the Guard. Former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund testifies during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs & Senate Rules and Administration joint hearing on February 23, 2021 in Washington, DC. ?Robert J. Contee III, Acting D.C. Metropolitan Police Chief, giving testimony during the Capitol hearings on Feb. 23, 2021. ??Capitol police attempting to hold off protestors storming the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Opinion | How Biden can show he’s serious about democracy
       
Biden has pledged to hold a “global democracy summit,” a positive signal that he cares about freedom and human rights. And currently, the United States doesn’t have their back. It’s a test of how much Biden cares about democracy, beyond speeches and summits. Biden should make it a priority to restore that light — both by repairing democracy at home and doing more to support democracy abroad. Biden should seize the opportunity to show he’s serious about global democracy by giving them that help.
The Health 202: Buried in Biden's stimulus plan is a 29 percent spending hike in Obamacare subsidies
       
The Trump administration had slashed funding for these marketplace “navigators.”So for Democrats, expanding the subsidies is a no-brainer. Currently, more than 100 million vaccine doses have been shipped around the U.S., with more than 50 million people receiving at least one shot, according to The Post’s vaccine tracker. More in coronavirus newsA new federal report says the Trump administration failed to uphold safety protections for workers. Five weeks after their last day in office, the Trump administration health officials who stayed to the end are now popping up in new roles. Some of the most visible Trump health officials, like Jerome Adams, the former Surgeon General, and Alex Azar, the former HHS secretary, have yet to announce new ventures.
The Cybersecurity 202: A new government watchdog report highlights urgent federal cybersecurity risks
       
ADADThe GAO report provides an early blueprint for how Congress and federal agencies can work to address the significant cybersecurity issues raised by the hack of SolarWinds software, which led to the compromise of at least nine federal agencies. The report comes as Congress eyes potential legislation requiring all government contractors to report cybersecurity incidents. ADThe report points to a lack of cybersecurity leadership at the federal level, something the report says “regressed” under the Trump administration. “The FBI's demand for the power to spy on end-to-end communications undermines [end-to-end] encryption and makes everyone less safe,” Electronic Frontier Foundation Cybersecurity Director Eva Galperin tweeted. DaybookFormer Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency director Chris Krebs speaks at an Atlantic Council event on 2020 election misinformation today at 3 p.m.
Bette Midler shares unique concerns about Mr. Potato head toy following Hasbro's rebrand decision
       
Potato Head toy following Hasbro's decision to rebrand the line. Potato Head and Mrs. Potato Head, announced the line will soon be rebranded as the "Potato Head" in order to "better reflect the full line." Potato Head toys will be renamed. "Good to know that Mrs Potato Head is there to help pack his... stuff," one user wrote with a GIF of Mrs. and Mr.
Keith Olbermann roasted for asking why we’re ‘wasting vaccinations on Texas’ after state lifts mask mandate
       
Liberal pundit Keith Olbermann was roasted from both sides of the aisle on Tuesday for declaring that Texans don’t deserve access to the coronavirus vaccines because "Texas has decided to join the side of the virus" by lifting its mask mandate. Olbermann, who walked away from ESPN to start an anti-Trump show on YouTube, responded to a tweet from Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott outlining plans to open the state back up and revoke mask mandates. ABBOTT ANNOUNCES PLAN TO FULLY REOPEN BUSINESSES, END STATE MASK MANDATE"Why are we wasting vaccinations on Texas if Texas has decided to join the side of the virus?" He once claimed that Trump and his family had done more damage to the U.S. than 9/11 mastermind Usama bin Laden.
House Oversight Committee reissues subpoena for Trump financial records
       
Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-New York, speaks during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on Legislative Proposals to Put the Postal Service on Sustainable Financial Footing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on February 24, 2021. The House Oversight Committee reissued a subpoena for years of financial records from former President Donald Trump and his businesses, as it presses on with investigations into potential conflicts of interest and self dealing. The same day, the House Oversight Committee re-sent its own subpoena to Mazars, according to a court filing late Tuesday in Washington, D.C., federal court. The committee had first subpoenaed Mazars in April 2019, when it was led by the late Rep. Elijah cummings, D-Md. The most recent filing in the yearslong case in U.S. District Court in Washington also signaled that the fight over Trump's records could drag on for months longer.
U.S. officials have met Yemen's Houthis as Washington seeks end to war: sources
       
DUBAI (Reuters) - Senior U.S. officials have held a first direct meeting with officials from the Iran-aligned Houthi movement that controls Yemen’s capital, two sources familiar with the matter said, as the new U.S. administration pushes to end a six-year war. FILE PHOTO: Houthi supporters rally against the United States' designation of Houthis as a foreign terrorist organisation, in Sanaa, Yemen January 25, 2021. The Houthis captured Yemen’s capital in 2014 and control most populated areas. Lenderking met Abdusalam in Muscat after meeting with Saudi and U.N. officials in Riyadh. CEASEFIRE TALKSIn ceasefire talks, Saudi Arabia has been seeking assurances on border security and curbing the influence of regional arch-rival Iran.
Chinese chipmaker SMIC buys $1.2 billion in tools from ASML
       
FILE PHOTO: A logo of Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) is seen at China International Semiconductor Expo (IC China 2020) following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Shanghai, China October 14, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song(Reuters) - Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp, China’s largest chipmaker, has agreed to buy $1.2 billion in manufacturing tools from ASML Holding NV, according to a regulatory filing on Wednesday. In 2019, the Trump administration pressed Dutch officials to cancel a sale of an EUV machine to SMIC. Dutch officials had not approved a license to ship an EUV tool to China as of late February, according to government records. ASML, which also makes tools for less advanced chips, did not immediately return a request for comment on which tools were included in the most recent sale.
National security officials to testify about Jan. 6 attack on Capitol at joint committee hearing
       
WASHINGTON — Two Senate committees will hear testimony Wednesday from national security officials about the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol as Congress ramps up its probe of what unfolded that day. Officials from the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, Defense Department and Washington, D.C., National Guard will face questions from lawmakers on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Senate Rules and Administration Committee. Wray also repeatedly shot down claims by Republican allies of former President Donald Trump and others that antifa activists participated in the attack. The witnesses told lawmakers that they blamed the Jan. 6 attack on poor intelligence and a slow response from the federal government. Separately on Wednesday, acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman is set to testify before the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees funding for the legislative branch at a hearing about her agency’s budget.
Report finds Ronny Jackson drank on duty and harassed staff while White House physician
       
The Department of Defense Inspector General plans to release a report that found Rep. Ronny Jackson drank while on duty and harassed staff while serving as the White House physician under the Trump administration.
Scathing report finds Rep. Ronny Jackson engaged in 'inappropriate conduct' as White House doctor
       
WASHINGTON — Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Texas, engaged in "inappropriate conduct" while serving as the top White House physician, according to a Pentagon inspector general report obtained Wednesday by NBC News. The scathing report, expected to be released later Wednesday, alleges abusive behavior toward subordinates including sexual harassment. The inspector general's review, first reported by CNN, says Jackson drank alcohol, made sexual comments to subordinates and took the sedative Ambien while working as White House physician. Citing interviews with dozens of former staff, the Pentagon inspector general said Jackson failed to treat his subordinates with dignity and respect. “We asked the female subordinate what she was thinking when RDML Jackson knocked on her door in the middle of the night and said 'I need you,'" the inspector general report said.
Solid sign-ups for Biden’s new ‘Obamacare’ coverage offer
       
HealthCare.gov offers subsidized private health insurance under the Obama-era Affordable Care Act, catering mainly to low- and moderate-income working people. Though the sweetened subsidies only last through the end of next year, their availability is expected to boost insurance coverage. The figures are partial, since they only cover the 36 states served by the federal HealthCare.gov insurance market. “Obamacare” now covers more than 20 million people through a combination of subsidized private plans and, in most states, expanded Medicaid. Some estimates range from 5 million to 10 million, while the Congressional Budget Office suggests a lower number, more like 3 million.
National security officials to testify on Jan. 6 mistakes
       
FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 2, 2021. Wray is condemning the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol as “domestic terrorism.” (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal national security officials are set to testify in the second Senate hearing about what went wrong on Jan. 6, facing questions about missed intelligence and botched efforts to quickly gather National Guard troops that day as a violent mob laid siege to the U.S. Capitol . The officials at the hearing last week, including ousted Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, gave conflicting accounts of those negotiations. The hearing comes as thousands of National Guard troops are still patrolling the fenced-in Capitol and as multiple committees across Congress are launching investigations into mistakes made on Jan. 6. ADVERTISEMENTAs the Senate hears from the federal officials, acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman will testify before a House panel that is also looking into how security failed.
US forces: Rockets hit airbase in Iraq hosting US troops
       
At least 10 rockets targeted a military base in western Iraq that hosts U.S.-led coalition troops on Wednesday, March 3, 2021, the coalition and the Iraqi military said. At least 10 rockets targeted a military base in western Iraq that hosts U.S.-led coalition troops on Wednesday, March 3, 2021, the coalition and the Iraqi military said. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser, File)BAGHDAD (AP) — At least 10 rockets targeted a military base in western Iraq that hosts U.S.-led coalition troops on Wednesday, the coalition and the Iraqi military said. The rockets struck Ain al-Asad airbase in Anbar province at 7:20 a.m., coalition spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto said. “Despicable attacks against Ain al-Asad base in #Iraq are completely unacceptable,” Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod tweeted.
A Palm Beach mansion owned by the Trump family just hit the market for $49 million, and it's right across the street from Mar-a-Lago
       
The Palm Beach, Florida, home comes with nearly 200 feet of ocean frontage. Google MapsA mansion in Palm Beach, Florida, that's owned by the Trump family just hit the market for $49 million, Bloomberg reported. The 10,455-square-foot home comes with a free membership to former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club, which is right across the street, according to the Palm Beach Daily News. Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump, and Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower days ahead of Trump's inauguration in January 2017. Eric Trump, Lara Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Kimberly Guilfoyle arriving at Mar-a-Lago on January 20.
US Capitol Police beef up security for March 4 amid concerns over QAnon conspiracy theory
       
The United States Capitol Police said it has beefed up security on Capitol Hill this week due to "concerning information and intelligence" related to March 4, the date that far-right conspiracy theorists believe former President Donald Trump will return to power. The Department has communicated our enhanced posture as well as the available intelligence for the entire workforce." PHOTO: The United States Capitol Police seal appears on the side of a bus parked near the federal law enforcement agency's headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 19, 2021. PHOTO: Members of the National Guard are seen on the east front of the U.S. Capitol building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on March 2, 2021. US Capitol Police beef up security for March 4 amid concerns over QAnon conspiracy theory originally appeared on abcnews.go.com
Essential Politics: Kamala Harris enters a supermarket — and a security bubble
       
Good morning and welcome to the Essential Politics Newsletter — the Kamala Harris edition. This week, I thought I would offer a backstage glimpse into how strange even the most mundane places can feel when a president or vice president shows up. AdvertisementNewsletter Get our Essential Politics newsletter The latest news, analysis and insights from our politics teams from Sacramento to D.C. AdvertisementVice President Kamala Harris speaks with pharmacists during her visit to a Giant supermarket in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 25. This type of preparation, security and theater is not new or unusual for a president or vice president.
‘Boiling up’: Jeremy Lin says Covid-19 has sparked anti-Asian violence in the US
       
Former NBA star Jeremy Lin says he’s seen a rise in racism across the US since the coronavirus pandemic started and says the country must address the issue of anti-Asian violence. “This has been something that’s really blowing up or boiling up for a little bit for me,” Lin told CNN’s Don Lemon on Tuesday. Currently playing for the Santa Cruz Warriors, the G League affiliate for the Golden State Warriors, Lin says he was recently called “coronavirus” during a basketball game and shared his experience on social media. The 32-year-old hasn’t named the perpetrator, insisting he only wants to raise awareness of a more widespread problem. Lin, who in 2019 became the first Asian American to win an NBA title while playing for the Toronto Raptors, says discrimination toward Asian Americans is nothing new.
100 best TV shows from the '90s
       
It turns out Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner aren’t the only ones moving to the ultraexclusive “Billionaires Bunker” near Miami. According to Page Six, Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen are the latest couple to have purchased a slice of Indian Creek Island, for a cool $17 million.
Bird appears in Indonesian forest for first time in 170 years
       
Please enter your email address Please enter a valid email address Please enter a valid email address SIGN UP Thanks for signing up to the News newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. Read our privacy notice Thanks for signing up to the News newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. The photos more closely matched an illustration of a black-browed babbler – a bird listed in Mr Trisiyanto’s guidebook as possibly extinct. “Basically, we have zero knowledge about this bird,” Mr Akbar said. “We’re now seeing this bird alive for the first time in all of its natural glory,” Mr Yong said.
Republicans continue to run against transgender rights
       
the number of bills being filed.”Mr Trump, who rarely talked about transgender rights as a candidate, ignored the issue in 2020 rhetorically. Mr Biden, a relatively early supporter of transgender rights, pledged to undo all of that. “What if that shot was taken away by a competitor who claims to be a girl, but was born a boy?”Please enter your email address Please enter a valid email address Please enter a valid email address SIGN UP Thanks for signing up to the Inside Washington newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. Read our privacy notice Thanks for signing up to the Inside Washington newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. There were 79 pieces of legislation in states to restrict transgender rights last year, many focused on student athletes.
State-sponsored hackers in China targeting email services: Microsoft
       
Microsoft has said a state-sponsored hacking group operating out of China is exploiting previously unknown security flaws in its Exchange email services to steal data from business users. It’s unclear which organizations and what information has been specifically targeted by the hack but experts recommend all Microsoft Exchange users fix their software to stop future break-ins. That 'enabled access to email accounts, and allowed installation of additional malware to facilitate long-term access to victim environments', the tech giant says. Microsoft says a state-sponsored hacking group based in China has been exploiting previously unknown vulnerabilities in its email servicesHOW DID THE HACK WORK? They added: 'We continue to see no evidence that the actor behind SolarWinds discovered or exploited any vulnerability in Microsoft products and services.'
John Bolton on Halkbank: “Trump Wanted To Make an Impression on Erdo?an”
       
Former U.S. National Security Adviser Bolton “Trump Wanted To Make an Impression on Erdo?an”In an interview with DER SPIEGEL, former U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton discusses the case against Turkey’s Halkbank, which has been accused of helping Iran circumvent American sanctions. He says Donald Trump and Turkish President Erdo?an were in close contact about the issue. Interview Conducted By Alexander Sarovic
Trump Is Gone, but Democracy Is in Trouble
       
David A. Graham: Trump is threatening Republican prospects in 2022In a country with two major parties, democracy is safe only if both care more about preserving the political system than about beating their opponents. Until the Republican Party banishes Trump and drops his big lie, every presidential election will be a potential extinction-level event. With the exception of Trump, dictators and their admirers have had a very good year. Now a new report by Freedom House quantifies just how dire the situation is. Every year, more countries are moving from democracy to autocracy than from autocracy to democracy.
US forces: Rockets hit airbase in Iraq hosting US troops
       
BAGHDAD (AP) — At least 10 rockets targeted a military base in western Iraq that hosts U.S.-led coalition troops on Wednesday, the coalition and the Iraqi military said. The rockets struck Ain al-Asad airbase in Anbar province at 7:20 a.m., coalition spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto said. “Coalition forces are in Iraq to fight Daesh at the invitation of the Iraqi government,” he tweeted, using the Arabic acronym for IS. “Despicable attacks against Ain al-Asad base in #Iraq are completely unacceptable," Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod tweeted. The forces withdrew from several Iraqi based across the country to consolidate chiefly in Ain al-Asad and Baghad.
LGBTQ activist, county official from Asheville to run for Madison Cawthorn's seat in 2022
       
ASHEVILLE, N.C. - A county commissioner who gained national prominence in the campaign to fully legalize same-sex marriage has said she will seek the congressional seat held by far-right Republican Madison Cawthorn. "Some people will say a gay woman who's a Christian minister just can't get elected in the South. A prime motivation was LGBTQ youths being able to grow up "hearing a message that they're equal, that they're valued," she said. Beach-Ferrara said her time on the Board of Commissioners showed the ability to work with people of different political viewpoints. "My faith teaches me that leadership starts with empathy, compassion, and listening and then getting to work to help people.
Live updates Biden to host bipartisan meeting on battling cancer in preview of post-pandemic health agenda
       
Former vice president Mike Pence stokes claims of “significant voting irregularities” in the 2020 election and attacks a voting-access bill that House Democrats are poised to pass Wednesday in his debut column for the Daily Signal, a publication of the conservative Heritage Foundation. “Many of the most troubling voting irregularities took place in states that set aside laws enacted by state legislatures in favor of sweeping changes ordered by governors, secretaries of state, and courts,” Pence wrote. 1, or the “For the People Act,” that would overhaul elections, campaign finance and government ethics law. House leaders anticipate near-unanimous Democratic support and no Republican backing. Pence contends that many of the measures in the bill, such as automatic voter registration, would invite election fraud.
Capitol riot hearing: FBI, National Guard and Homeland Security officials to testify before Senate
       
Congress will seek more answers Wednesday about the Jan. 6 Capitol riot as national security officials from the FBI, National Guard and Homeland Security are expected to testify before a Senate hearing. A second joint hearing between the committees on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and Rules and Administration will convene Wednesday at 10 a.m. to examine the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. At a previous Senate hearing last week, officials who had been in charge of security at the Capitol -- namely former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund and former House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving -- gave conflicting accounts regarding when a request for National Guard support was submitted on Jan. 6. The hearing comes as thousands of National Guard troops are still patrolling the fenced-in Capitol building and as multiple committees across Congress are launching investigations into the actions on Jan. 6. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPWray also revealed that the FBI has some 2,000 investigations open nationwide in connection to the riot.
Lauren Appell: Dr. Seuss silenced – sobering lessons as cancel culture strikes beloved author
       
Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known in households across America as Dr. Seuss, just became the latest cancel culture casualty. 6 DR. SEUSS BOOKS TO STOP BEING PUBLISHED BECAUSE OF RACIST IMAGERYDr. Seuss Enterprises said it will stop publishing six of the author’s books due to racial and insensitive imagery. WHO IS DR. SEUSS AUTHOR THEODOR SEUSS GEISEL? CLICK HERE TO GET THE OPINION NEWSLETTERHere are a few quotes from Dr. Seuss that speak to those universal values. A book by Dr. Seuss is reportedly the first story one in four American children receive.
What to watch today: Dow futures turn negative, giving up earlier gains
       
The Senate is expected to start debate as soon as Wednesday on its version of the House-passed, $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky on Monday warned states against lifting public health restrictions too quickly. The properties include the Venetian Resort Las Vegas and the Sands Expo and Convention Center. Shares of Las Vegas Sands were up almost 3% in the premarket. (CNBC)Microsoft (MSFT) said that China-based government hackers have exploited a bug in its email server software to target U.S. organizations.
White House Residence Staffer Saw An Immediate Difference Between Trumps, Bidens
       
A White House residence staffer recalled how ex-President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden’s stark difference in attitudes to COVID-19 were on full display on Biden’s Inauguration Day. The unnamed staffer told how colleagues on Jan. 20 gathered in one White House room to say goodbye to outgoing President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump. “It’s like night and day,” the staffer told The New Yorker, pointing out the social distancing differences of the outgoing and incoming first families in an article published Feb. 24 that’s now gaining traction online. “The Bidens came in and the first thing they did was make a loop of the State Floor and greet the staff,” the staffer remembered. Last month, it emerged that Trump’s condition was worse than was reported at the time.
Sacred Apache land 'on death row' in standoff with foreign mining titans
       
The bill transferred 2,400 acres of national forestland, including Oak Flat, to Resolution in exchange for 5,300 acres of private land owned by the mining company. The legislation stunned and saddened Naelyn Pike, a San Carlos Apache tribal member who first testified before Congress in opposition to the arrangement when she was 13. The mine beneath Oak Flat is projected to satisfy 25 percent of U.S. demand. Oak Flat, along with its petroglyph-covered walls and Apache burial sites, is set to be swallowed up in a crater deep enough to hold the Eiffel Tower. The Apache Stronghold group argued in the suit that the planned destruction of Oak Flat would violate religious freedom protections.
Trump and the GOP made their biggest 2020 gains in these South Texas counties
       
WASHINGTON — Last week, we examined the counties — in Georgia — where Democrats made their biggest gains since 2008. Today, we look at the counties — in Texas — where Donald Trump improved his vote share the most between 2016 and 2020. In fact, of the six counties in the entire U.S. where Trump made his biggest gains during this span, five were in South Texas. Here are the five Texas counties:Starr (Texas)2016: Clinton 79.1 percent Trump 18.9 percent2020: Biden 52.1 percent, Trump 47.1 percentMaverick (Texas)2016: Clinton 76.5 percent, Trump 20.7 percent2020: Biden 54.3 percent, Trump 44.8 percentJim Hogg (Texas)2016: Clinton 77.2 percent, Trump 20.3 percent2020: Biden: 58.8 percent, Trump 40.9 percentKenedy (Texas)2016: Clinton 53.2 percent, Trump 45.2 percent2020: Biden: 33.5 percent, Trump 65.5 percentZapata (Texas)2016: Clinton 65.7 percent, Trump 32.8 percent2020: Biden 47.1 percent, Trump 52.5 percentWhat do these five Texas counties have in common? But those places are different than South Texas, and South Texas is different than Los Angeles.
Father shares family reunification story as lawyers search for parents of more than 500 children
       
In the wake of former President Trump's "zero tolerance" immigration policy, thousands of children were separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. Three years later, one father tells Mireya Villarreal about his family's experience as lawyers are still searching for parents of more than 500 children. MIREYA VILLARREAL: Daniel Paz and his daughter Angie have been living in Ohio nearly three years after crossing the border. MIREYA VILLARREAL: Did you know that there was a possibility you would be separated from your family, from your children? MIREYA VILLARREAL: Paz believes he is one of the lucky ones.
Biden hit with first Cabinet defeat as White House withdraws Neera Tanden nomination for budget chief
       
Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP via Getty ImagesBiden's pick to head the White House budget office withdrew on Tuesday. Sen. Joe Manchin came out in opposition to Neera Tanden's nomination, jeopardizing her path forward in an evenly divided Senate. "I appreciate how hard you and your team at the White House has worked to win my confirmation," Tanden said in a withdrawal letter released by the White House. Tanden's nomination was imperiled after Sen. Joe Manchin said he opposed her nomination to lead the White House budget office last month. White House chief of staff Ron Klain recently said that Tanden would receive another job in the White House if her nomination fell through - one that doesn't require Senate confirmation.
Enough is enough: Lafayette officials want action over Trump bridge protests
       
“I don’t care what the protesters are protesting,” Mayor Susan Candell told the council on Feb. 22. The council asked city officials to bring back a report on the feasibility of painting curbs red near the overpass to prevent demonstrators from parking nearby. Some nearby residents say the current demonstrators, who are questioning the results of the presidential election, are intimidating. “I have felt threatened and have never felt safe,” Amy Norstad told the council. “We believe in safety.”Starting in November, because of the increased calls for service, Lafayette police regularly post one to two officers in the area of the overpass during the protests.
Security officials likely to get grilled on Jan. 6 Capitol mistakes
       
In this Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, violent protesters storm the Capitol, in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)Fencing and razor wire surrounds the perimeter of the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Scott Applewhite)FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 2, 2021. The officials at the hearing last week, including ousted Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, gave conflicting accounts of those negotiations. As the Senate hears from the federal officials, acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman will testify before a House panel that is also looking into how security failed.
Rockets hit airbase in Iraq hosting U.S. troops
       
BAGHDAD — At least 10 rockets targeted a military base in western Iraq that hosts U.S.-led coalition troops on Wednesday, the coalition and the Iraqi military said. The rockets struck Ain al-Asad airbase in Anbar province at 7:20 a.m., coalition spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto said. “Coalition forces are in Iraq to fight Daesh at the invitation of the Iraqi government,” he tweeted, using the Arabic acronym for IS. “Despicable attacks against Ain al-Asad base in #Iraq are completely unacceptable,” Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod tweeted. The forces withdrew from several Iraqi based across the country to consolidate chiefly in Ain al-Asad and Baghad.
David Shor’s (Updated) 2020 Autopsy and 2022 Forecast
       
Do you have any sense what was behind the large rightward shift among Hispanic voters? In the summer, following the emergence of “defund the police” as a nationally salient issue, support for Biden among Hispanic voters declined. I mean, Hispanic voters are more liberal on immigration than white voters. If you look at, for example, decriminalizing border crossings, that’s not something that a majority of Hispanic voters support. If these college-educated were primarily rejecting Donald Trump, Democrats might not be able to count on their support in 2022 and beyond.
The 10 Senate seats most likely to flip in 2022
       
By the numbers, at least, Republicans are more on defense heading into 2022: Of the 34 Senate seats up next year, Republicans are defending 20 to Democrats' 14. The top 10 Senate seats most likely to flip are based on CNN's reporting, as well as historical data about how states and candidates have performed. His Wisconsin seat is the third most likely to flip, but the two-term senator is the most vulnerable Republican incumbent. The extent to which Trump will get involved and will back candidates at odds with Senate GOP leadership remains to be seen. For all those reasons, Alaska doesn't come close to cracking this list of seats most likely to flip, despite Trump's threats to Murkowski.
Lawmaker to Reintroduce Net Neutrality Legislation Within Weeks
       
Sen. Ed Markey plans to introduce legislation in the coming weeks to restore net neutrality rules put in place during the Obama administration. Net neutrality sets forth that providers of broadband services should treat all internet traffic equally, not blocking, throttling or prioritizing any one set of content or data over another for commercial purposes. “And in the coming weeks, I'm also planning on reintroducing legislation to do the same by statute. Here's the bottom line: Whether it's in the halls of the FCC or in the halls of Congress, we will not stop working until net neutrality is the law of the land.”The status of net neutrality at the federal level has shifted back and forth over the years based on which political party is in power. The FCC used this power to pass privacy and cybersecurity rules for ISPs.
Iran’s FATF debate heats up as nuclear deal remains in limbo
       
Moderates and hardliners at odds again over contentious Financial Action Task Force legislation as US sanctions against Iran remain in place. In a televised speech on Wednesday, President Hassan Rouhani advocated for the ratification of two remaining bills to complete Iran’s action plan with the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The FATF is a global intergovernmental organisation tasked with devising standards on combating money laundering and “terrorism financing”. As part of Iran’s action plan with the FATF, initially agreed upon more than six years ago, the country had to finalise four pieces of legislation. The current US sanctions on Iran were imposed by former US President Donald Trump who in 2018 unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.
Race for EV batteries pits conservationists against green energy
       
Conservationists were quick to suspect ioneer Ltd, an Australian firm that wants to mine the lithium that lies beneath the flowers for use in electric vehicle (EV) batteries. To please conservationists, Biden has vowed to set aside at least 30 percent of US federal land and coastal areas for conservation, triple current levels. Biden is open to allowing more mines on federal land, the sources said, but will not give the industry carte blanche to dig everywhere. Metals neededDemand for metals used in EV batteries is expected to rise sharply as automakers including Tesla Inc, BMW and General Motors plan major expansions of EV production. Federal land is teeming with many of these EV metals, according to the US Geological Survey.
USA TODAY: Latest World and US News
       
Child tax credit boost is popular with Democrats but a 'nightmare' to GOPCapitol security increased as QAnon theory claims Trump will return to White HouseGold and silver pour into U.S. during pandemic
What's popular on Facebook? Extreme far right political views and lies, study says
       
Far-right sources of news and information that spread misinformation have even higher engagement than far-right sources overall, generating on average 65% more engagement per follower, according to the study. Facebook says the NYU study mostly examines how people engage with certain types of content, not how many people actually see it on the platform. But the report echoes findings from other researchers that far-right content resonates with Facebook users, in large part because it elicits strong reactions. The top 5 far-right news and information sources included in the NYU study were Dan Bongino, Newsmax, Breitbart, TruthFeed, and Trending Politics. Engagement with posts from far-right and far-left news sources peaked around Election Day and again on Jan. 6 when a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol, the study report found.
Power Up: Some Democrats want voting rights to be the filibuster exception
       
The PoliciesTHE VOTING RIGHTS EXCEPTION? The “For the People Act” includes measures to expand early and absentee voting, establish automatic voter registration, restore voting rights for individuals with past criminal convictions, etc. The Supreme Court yesterday heard a challenge to Arizona's election laws and appears poised to uphold two voting restrictions in the state that could hinder future challenges to voting rights' restrictions, our colleague Robert Barnes reports. The case is the “most important voting rights case in almost a decade,” per the New York Times's Adam Liptak. A former Obama advisor:On the HillGO TIME: Senate Democrats could place the full $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package before the chamber as early as today.
Internal DHS documents warned of potential for violence by groups at Jan. 6 rally
       
“The lessons learned from the violent and illegal events of January 6th will help enhance our ability to stop future acts of violence,” DHS spokeswoman Sarah Peck said. ADBut the documents do show a level of awareness of potential threats on the part of the FPS, which is responsible for protecting federal properties, including some buildings around the Capitol. FPS officers are accustomed to flagging the presence of extremists and other potentially violent actors at protests and rallies. ADAs violence erupted at the Capitol, FPS officers took note in emails of clashes between protesters and police. But there is little in the documents to show what actions the FPS took or whether they linked any of the violence to specific groups the agency knew were coming to Washington.
Gov. Larry Hogan: Open the damn schools – Biden must send this message loud and clear
       
This went beyond just keeping local public schools closed. Threatened by declining enrollments as parents frantically pulled their children out of public schools, Montgomery County ordered nonpublic schools to shut down as well. I called on every county school system to reopen by March 1. Yet, within hours, three large county school systems – Baltimore, Harford and Howard – announced that they would comply with the March 1 deadline and others soon followed. Mr. President, send the message loud and clear: Open the damn schools.
In Democrats' paradise, borrowing is free, spending pays for itself, and interest rates never rise
       
Rest assured that the economy won’t miss a beat no matter how far or fast the minimum wage is raised. We have entered a magical world where borrowing is costless, spending pays for itself, stocks only rise and the dollar never falls. ADADOr consider the current debate about the minimum wage. ADADAlternatively, we could peg the minimum wage to the level necessary to bring a full-time worker above the poverty line. When combined with food stamps and a fair minimum wage, these programs could effectively end poverty among working families in America.
America's biggest companies push for path to citizenship for 'Dreamers'
       
America's biggest companies urged Congress on Wednesday to establish a permanent path to citizenship for "Dreamers" — undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children. Lawmakers and advocates point to the Dream Act as a potential stand-alone bill that could garner bipartisan support. It would provide a pathway to permanent legal residence and eventually citizenship for some young, undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. DACA protects the young undocumented immigrants who would be covered by the Dream Act from deportation but does not provide a path to citizenship. DACA recipients working at some of the companies in the coalition are also meeting virtually with Senators and staff on Wednesday to push for support of the Dream Act.
5 things to know before the stock market opens Wednesday
       
Coming off their best days since November, the 30-stock average Tuesday fell 0.5% and the Nasdaq dropped 1.7% as tech stocks pulled back. The latest ADP report on private sector employment is set for release at 8:30 a.m. U.S. companies are expected to have added 225,000 new jobs in February compared to January of gains 174,000 positions. The ADP lately has not been the best predictor of the government's monthly jobs report, which comes out Friday. Brandon Bell | Pool | ReutersThe Senate is expected to start debate as soon as Wednesday on its version of the House-passed, $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill.
Exclusive: U.S. House Democrats urge Biden to revert to Obama-era Cuba detente
       
(Reuters) - Eighty U.S. House of Representatives Democrats urged President Joe Biden on Tuesday to repeal Donald Trump’s “cruel” sanctions on Cuba and renew engagement, an early sign of support in Congress for easing the clamp-down on the Communist-run country. FILE PHOTO: A view of Cuban and U.S. flags beside the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, December 15, 2020. The letter was led by lawmakers Bobby Rush, Gwen Moore, Barbara Lee and Steve Cohen, long-time supporters of engagement with Cuba. Signers also included the leaders of the influential House of Representatives Foreign Affairs, Financial Services and Appropriations committees. But Biden has not yet indicated whether he will fully revert to the historic detente initiated by Democratic former President Barack Obama when Biden was vice president.
Blinken, Biden to outline global strategy with China as key focus
       
Most of Blinken’s speech, at least according to the excerpts, consists of pledges made repeatedly during the 2020 presidential campaign and since Biden won November’s election. Blinken will acknowledge that the world today is different from 2017, when Donald Trump took over as president, or even from 2009, when many current Biden administration officials worked for then-President Barack Obama. We’re looking at the world with fresh eyes,” Blinken is expected to say. That includes more consideration of the ways in which foreign policy, domestic policy and trade issues are intertwined. The Biden administration will weigh how its moves abroad affect American workers, Blinken will promise.
Analysis: Biden aims to manage expectations with pandemic
       
President Joe Biden speaks about efforts to combat COVID-19, in the State Dining Room of the White House, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden doesn’t just have to manage the coronavirus pandemic — he also has to manage people’s expectations for how soon the country will come out of it. The Biden administration has been moving to scale up capacity to administer vaccines at an ever-faster clip. In his first days in office, Biden had promised enough vaccine for all adults by the end of summer. “ADVERTISEMENTUnlike his predecessor, who frequently established goals he could not meet, Biden has tried to set modest expectations and then beat them.
Baltimore's powerful new tool to fight illegal guns
       
The Daily BeastPhoto Illustration by The Daily Beast/GettyFor years, a central goal of the conservative movement was to install right-wing judges. A Republican president delivered, big time. For the authoritarian wing of the Republican Party, this was never about interpreting the American legal code. “They want judges who will vote to save the election for a president who has clearly lost it. It’s now actually the platform of the Republican Party to make it hard for people to vote, because they’re afraid that they might not vote Republican.
Authorities investigate whether human smuggling involved in Calif. crash
       
But Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., an original co-sponsor of last year's companion bill in the Senate, is making that call this year. Consequently, the legislation is getting more pushback than ever from companies that consider it a threat to their business model. Chockley contends that once workers voted to organize at certain XPO locations, the company was able to avoid negotiating an actual contract. But the company still has the ability to spend money, delay and deny the workers the benefit of an election." Teamsters, port and rail drivers defend AB5's limits on independent contractors Click for more FreightWaves articles by John Gallagher.
The former White House physician made sexual comments about female colleagues and drank while on call, report finds
       
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty ImagesRonny Jackson was the White House physician to Presidents Obama and Trump between 2012 and 2018. A new DOD report obtained by CNN found Jackson made sexual remarks about female coworkers and drank on duty. The former top White House physician made sexual remarks about a female junior employee and drank alcohol while on duty, according to an unpublished Pentagon report obtained by CNN. Jackson joined the White House Medical Unit during former President George W. Bush's administration, and was elevated to be the top White House physician during Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump's administrations between 2012 and 2018. The report cited witnesses saying that Jackson made sexual comments about female colleagues, verbally abused subordinates, and drank on the job, CNN said.
Biden Bits, Vaccine Vanguard, Unmasking Folly, Minerd Musings, Ives Inklings
       
Guo was quoted at Reuters, Bloomberg and elsewhere as saying, "Financial markets are trading at high levels in Europe, the U.S. and other developed countries, which runs counter to the real economy." I guarantee readers right-stinking now that somebody who is important somewhere to someone says something like that every single day. Trading volume remained rather light overall, up small at the New York Stock Exchange, down small at the Nasdaq Market Site. Ives sees 25%+ upward movement for tech the coming year, led by "FAANG, cloud and cybersecurity. While Ives sees some moderating growth post-pandemic, he sounds quite optimistic concerning strength across a number of these tech-related industries and he names names.
Opinion: A guide to how America can revive the political center
       
There were 240 million eligible voters in the United States last fall, and Joe Biden and Donald Trump each got approximately one-third of their votes. Moreover, millions who cast their votes for Biden did not do so with passion, and the same holds for Trump. The new president and his fellow Democrats newly in control of Congress need to think seriously about these figures. Many are moderates and independents, Most are what political scientists call “low information voters.” And a good share are younger than 30. Dave Anderson edited “Leveraging: A Political, Economic and Societal Framework” (Springer, 2014) and has taught at five universities.
Rockets strike Iraqi base housing US troops ahead of Pope Francis visit
       
Multiple rockets struck an airbase in Iraq hosting U.S. troops on Wednesday, according to a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition forces in the country. It is relatively rare for rocket attacks of this kind to take place during the day. The assault also comes amid fears Washington and Tehran are in danger of reprising a series of tit-for-tat attacks that escalated last year. The U.S. strike along the Iraq-Syria border had been in response to a spate of rocket attacks that have targeted the U.S. presence — about 2,500 troops — in Iraq. Related:Iran says it will begin limiting international monitoring of its nuclear sitesPope Francis is due to visit Iraq Friday-Monday.
Threats to Lawmakers Have Nearly Doubled in 2021, Police Chief Says
       
© Bloomberg Security fencing in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Feb. 15, 2021. A “significant focus” for Capitol Police in the next fiscal year “is centered on member security” outside Washington, Pittman plans to say in a Wednesday hearing of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch. Pittman will also outline other security needs at the Capitol and its surrounding buildings. ‘Evolving Threats’Pittman also plans to talk about the “lessons learned” after intelligence failures leading up to the Jan. 6 attack. Her budget request includes resources for “emerging technologies“ to improve communication, as well as “new officer safety equipment based on the evolving threats and physical security requirements for the Capitol complex.
McEnany lays into Biden for not giving pressers and moans she was treated differently to Jen Psaki
       
'It's been 41 days - at this point, President Trump had multiple press appearances, press conferences - President Barack Obama had as well. McEnany also attacked the media for giving her successor, Jen Psaki, easier treatment than had been meted out to her. Hannity asked whether McEnany felt that questions should be asked about women who have accused Biden of inappropriate behavior, such as Tara Reid. Former press secretary Kayleigh McEnany announced she was joining Fox on TuesdayThe Florida-born Harvard Law graduate praised Psaki, however, for her willingness to appear on Fox, which she did at the weekend. Psaki on Tuesday wished McEnany well in her new gig and said she'd be willing to on the network with her predecessor.
Widow of conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh opens up about losing him
       
The widow of conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh has opened up about losing him after he passed away due to complications with lung cancer. Limbaugh, 70, passed away on February 17 and was laid to rest on February 24. Kathryn Limbaugh praised her late husband during an interview on his eponymous radio show, saying that 'he was just shy of a president.' Rush Limbaugh pictured embracing his wife in February 2020. Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh died, aged 70, following a battle with lung cancer'I, like you, very much wish Rush was behind this golden microphone right now, welcoming you to another exceptional three hours of broadcasting.
Airbase hosting US troops in Iraq targeted in rocket attack, coalition says
       
(CNN) An airbase hosting US, Iraqi and coalition forces in Iraq was targeted on Wednesday by at least 10 rockets, US coalition officials said. The Al-Asad airbase was struck by grad missiles, Iraqi officials said earlier Wednesday. There are no reports of casualties or damage, and no group immediately claimed responsibility. The rocket launcher was found in the al-Bayader agricultural area near the town of al-Baghdadi, about 180 kilometers northwest of Baghdad, military sources told CNN. Sabereen news, a pro-Shia militia group, published images on its Telegram page claiming to show the launcher that attacked the base.
U.S. infrastructure gets 'C-,' says engineering group, up from Trump's 'D+'
       
The report urges the United States to increase investment from all levels of government and the private sector to 3.5 percent from 2.5 percent of U.S. gross domestic product by 2025. The study graded 17 categories of infrastructure, ranging from a "B" for rail to a "D-" for transit. It remains unclear how Biden or Congress will fund new infrastructure spending. The report praised state and local governments for boosting infrastructure spending. Since 2010, 37 U.S. states raised gas taxes to fund transportation and U.S. voters approved 98 percent of local infrastructure ballot initiatives in November.
House Oversight panel reissues subpoena for Trump's tax records
       
WASHINGTON — House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., has reissued a subpoena to former President Donald Trump’s accounting firm Mazars USA for financial records related to the panel’s investigations into presidential conflicts of interest. Maloney said that the new subpoena will again be “for financial records related to the committee’s investigations into presidential conflicts of interest, presidential contracts with the federal government and self-dealing, and presidential emoluments.”As House Democrats continue their investigations into the former president’s financial records, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance now has Trump’s tax returns and underlying documents. Vance is seeking tax returns covering eight years for a grand jury investigation of hush money payments and other financial transactions. That subpoena for the tax documents from Mazars was enforced last week after the Supreme Court declined to stop their production following an emergency application from Trump’s attorneys — a decisive defeat in his long legal battle to keep his tax records out of investigators' hands. The ruling doesn't mean the returns will become public any time soon, and they might never be publicly released.
Budowsky: Biden's midterm Morning in America
       
Members of the House and Senate who know these companies should not be shy about contacting them to suggest this. As the 2022 midterm elections come closer, there are high odds that Biden will be riding a wave of public popularity building on his already high levels of popularity. At this moment Biden is advancing his COVID-19 relief bill that is hugely popular with voters, while Republicans are aggressively opposing it. Prediction: after the COVID-19 bill passes, and Americans receive relief checks, and funding for vaccines increases, and COVID-19 cases fall further, and our economic recovery surges — a Biden midterm Morning in America will describe politics in America in 2022. Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.
Legislators Battle Whether to Restrict or Expand Voting
       
A worst-case scenario would be a ruling that not only overturns the earlier decision but also includes a departure from precedent that weakens the Voting Rights Act. The Brennan Center found that proposed expansion legislation focuses largely on mail voting, early voting, voter registration and voting rights. (Photo: Jay Janner/American Statesman/TNS)HR1 also would strengthen the Voting Rights Act, referencing the Supreme Court’s 5-4 Shelby County v. Holder decision in 2013. As HR1 moves forward, another federal voting reform bill is also in play, one that directly addresses the racial dimensions of voting rights and disenfranchisement of minority voters. The Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA), which passed the House and was renamed the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act in the Senate, proposes a new formula for preclearance, based on documented evidence of discrimination.
US forces: Rockets hit airbase in Iraq hosting US troops
       
At least 10 rockets targeted a military base in western Iraq that hosts U.S.-led coalition troops on Wednesday, March 3, 2021, the coalition and the Iraqi military said. At least 10 rockets targeted a military base in western Iraq that hosts U.S.-led coalition troops on Wednesday, March 3, 2021, the coalition and the Iraqi military said. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser, File)BAGHDAD (AP) — At least 10 rockets targeted a military base in western Iraq that hosts U.S.-led coalition troops on Wednesday, the coalition and the Iraqi military said. The rockets struck Ain al-Asad airbase in Anbar province at 7:20 a.m., coalition spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto said. “Despicable attacks against Ain al-Asad base in #Iraq are completely unacceptable,” Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod tweeted.
Did China Build a Spy Network in Kabul?
       
Amid murky allegations of contact with the Haqqani Network, the life of one Chinese national in Kabul comes under scrutiny. Get the NewsletterThe accusation of Chinese nationals building ties with the Haqqani Network brought to light the unclear fate of the network amid the ongoing peace negotiations. In the U.S.-Taliban agreement document, there is no mention of the Haqqani Network. It signed an agreement with the Taliban in February 2020, but the agreement does not mention the Haqqani Network. President Ashraf Ghani tasked Vice President Armullah Saleh, a former spy, to handle the detention of Chinese nationals.
A national system to prioritize COVID-19 vaccines has largely failed as states rely on their own systems
       
Tiberius grew from the Trump administration’s efforts to reinvent the nation’s public health system in the midst of a pandemic. In Solano County, California, for instance, local health officials use the registry to identify the most vulnerable people and give them the shots first. Each week, state public health officials must check the system’s dashboard to learn how many doses are heading their way. Those features were described as both duplicative and inadequate by most state officials who responded to USA TODAY. The Biden administration, meanwhile, says it’s working on improving the Tiberius system.
The oil industry is getting greener much more quickly as U.S. focus shifts to climate change
       
Nick Oxford | ReutersThe greening of the American oil industry has gone into overdrive. "The oil and gas industry is calibrating itself to what has become the new benchmark – net zero carbon by 2050. Occidental Petroleum's CEO VIcki Hollub told the conference her goal is to produce net zero carbon oil and her company will not just be an oil company in the next 15 to 20 years, but also a carbon management company. BP has expanded in wind and other technology and Looney says it will be an integrated energy company in the future, rather than an international oil company. They're accelerating, and they're certainly spending much more time marketing their efforts on carbon capture and a low carbon future.
National security officials to be grilled by lawmakers on failures during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot
       
Federal national security officials are set to testify in the second Senate hearing about what went wrong on Jan. 6, facing questions about missed intelligence and botched efforts to quickly gather National Guard troops that day as a violent mob laid siege to the U.S. Capitol. So far, lawmakers conducting investigations have focused on failed efforts to gather and share intelligence about the insurrectionists' planning before Jan. 6 and on the deliberations among officials about whether and when to call National Guard troops to protect Congress. The officials at the hearing last week, including ousted Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, gave conflicting accounts of those negotiations. The hearing comes as thousands of National Guard troops are still patrolling the fenced-in Capitol and as multiple committees across Congress are launching investigations into mistakes made on Jan. 6. He said he had quickly deployed his own officers and he was "shocked" that the National Guard "could not — or would not — do the same."
Opinion: How the party of Lincoln became the party of Alex Jones
       
The man who asked whether the horrific bombing was "another false flag staged attacks" was Dan Bidondi, a radio host for Alex Jones's InfoWars. While Jones still remains on the fringes of US politics, the InfoWars approach has since then become part of the mainstream right. "It's probably not Trump supporters who would do that," he told his audience. But false-flag conspiracies remained on the fringes, in part because conservatives had other ways to distance themselves from right-wing violence. So it should come as no surprise that politicians eyeing a political future in the party would embrace the conspiracies fueling its base, even if it means transforming the Party of Lincoln into the Party of Alex Jones.
POLITICO Playbook: The three factions set to face off over Tanden’s replacement
       
POLITICO Playbook: The three factions set to face off over Tanden’s replacement Presented byWhile the proximate cause of Neera Tanden’s defeat was Joe Manchin’s opposition, the actual cause was Lisa Murkowski. Sinema: Though she didn’t publicly commit to backing Tanden, three White House sources insist that Sinema would have been a yes. On Tuesday afternoon, the White House determined — abruptly in the view of some sources — that there was no trade to be had. Both can be true: The White House knew what would get her vote and ultimately declined to provide it. According to our sources there are competing factions on the Hill and inside the White House pushing alternatives, but three names are worth spotlighting.
The reckoning with Dr. Seuss' racist imagery has been years in the making
       
The business that preserves Dr. Seuss’ legacy announced Tuesday that six of the legendary author’s books for children will stop being published because of racist imagery. The announcement came on Read Across America Day, an initiative to promote childhood reading, which falls on the birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel, known as Dr. Seuss. "Even during that time, our ancestors and elders were protesting racist works and producing alternative stories for our children. President Barack Obama lauded the author in 2016, saying, "Theodor Seuss Geisel — or Dr. Seuss — used his incredible talent to instill in his most impressionable readers universal values we all hold dear." Criticism of Seuss works can be found as far back as the ‘80s.
Trump's Baseless 2020 Conspiracies Complicate Ohio Effort To Buy Voting Machines
       
The theory falsely claims voting machines made by a company called Dominion changed votes to swing the election in favor of now-President Biden. But those audits and recounts haven't stopped Republican county officials in Stark County, Ohio, home to Canton, from slowing the procurement effort for new machines. The controversy started in December, when the bipartisan Stark County Board of Elections voted unanimously to replace its aging voting machines with new ones from Dominion. "Some of the claims made about Dominion Voting Systems are beyond absurd and require one to suspend all critical thought." Election administrators have worked for years to ensure there are processes in place for vetting voting machines, according to Auburn University political science professor Mitchell Brown.
Democrats in U.S. House introduce wide-ranging climate bill
       
It’s a move that will enable him to accept more money from individual contributors over a longer period of time. The super PAC can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money, and will also draw support from a new “dark-money” nonprofit.Kinzinger’s allies are entering a crowded space. MAGA PAC, which cannot accept large lump sums from individuals, may be less effective in this regard. On Monday, Axios reported that former 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale had created yet another super PAC, called American Greatness. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you.
Israeli-owned cargo ship back at sea after suspected attack
       
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An Israeli-owned cargo ship that suffered a mysterious explosion last week has left Dubai’s port and was transiting the Gulf of Oman on Wednesday, satellite tracking data showed. The suspected attack has raised tensions in the region. The giant MV Helios Ray, a Bahamian-flagged roll-on, roll-off vehicle cargo ship, was sailing along the Omani coast toward the Arabian Sea, according to satellite-tracking data from website MarineTraffic.com, days after docking in Dubai for repairs. Last week, a blast struck the cargo ship in the same waterway, raising alarms about ship security in the Mideast. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Israel’s regional foe Iran of attacking the ship.
Turkey has stopped insulting us, but action still needed, France says
       
The journalist’s body has never been found.The complaint in Germany was filed Monday with public prosecutors in the city of Karlsruhe, according to an RSF statement. “We ask the public prosecutor general to open a situation analysis, with a view to formally launching a prosecutorial investigation and issuing arrest warrants.”RSF ranks Saudi Arabia 170th out of 180 countries in its press-freedom index. “Saudi Arabia permits no independent media,” the RSF rationale states. “Despite his talk of reform, Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has intensified the repression since his appointment as crown prince in June 2017. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you.
Column: The Republican Party’s biggest problem is spelled T-R-U-M-P
       
That about sums up the Republican Party’s Donald Trump problem. “Ronald Reagan taught us that politics is all about addition — about building a coalition,” Scott Reed, a longtime GOP strategist, told me. Besides, Trump hasn’t been very successful at helping GOP candidates win House or Senate seats. Many GOP strategists blame Trump for their loss of the Senate, which occurred after he intervened energetically in two Georgia runoff elections. Polls show that most Republican voters remain fiercely loyal to Trump and say they would gladly vote for him again.
QAnon and conspiracy theories are taking hold in churches. Pastors are fighting back.
       
“You have been with my family and in my home and I care for you but you are dabbling in darkness. Details emerging from investigations into hundreds of Capitol rioters have cast an unsettling light on the toxic roles that fringe religious beliefs and QAnon conspiracy theories have played in shaking big and small churches across the nation. “We’ve seen that those who embrace Christian nationalism are also more likely to believe in conspiracies.”In interviews, pastors said houses of worship were particularly susceptible. The Sunday after the Capitol attacks, he spoke in church about the parable of the good Samaritan from Luke 10:25-37. For some pastors, church climates in the last year have become too much to bear.
Rocket barrage hits Iraqi airbase that hosts U.S. troops
       
At least 10 rockets targeted a military base in western Iraq that hosts U.S.-led coalition troops Wednesday, the coalition and the Iraqi military said. The rockets struck Ain al-Asad airbase in Anbar province at 7:20 a.m., coalition spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto said. It was found in the al-Baghdadi area of Anbar, an Iraqi military official said on condition of anonymity to discuss the attack with the media. Advertisement“Despicable attacks against Ain al-Asad base in #Iraq are completely unacceptable,” Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod tweeted. The forces withdrew from several Iraqi bases across the country to consolidate chiefly in Ain al-Asad and Baghdad.
Biden's push on workplace safety could spur ramped up enforcement, experts say
       
With the president's focus on workplace safety and the updated guidance posted on Jan. 29, experts say employers should expect ramped up enforcement and inspections. Under President Donald Trump, he says, OSHA issued citations under other regulations such as respiratory protection and PPE, but not a specific COVID-standard. Berkowitz also criticized the agency for its approach to worker safety during COVID-19, saying OSHA basically "shutdown." OSHA in a statement to Newsday said: "The Biden administration is committed to doubling the number of OSHA inspectors." This plan should document and outline workplace safety regulations and rules equal or more stringent than OSHA standards, he says.
Trump's cash plea could complicate GOP fundraising efforts
       
Bill Palatucci, a RNC member from New Jersey, called Trump's comments “unwelcome" and “counterproductive" and voiced concern that the GOP would suffer further losses, like Georgia' Senate runoff elections in January, if they don't work together. Anybody can form a federal PAC or a super PAC and there's always lots of competition for dollars. “There’s got to be a willingness on the former president to look beyond his own self-interest." The RNC and spokespeople for the House and Senate campaign committees declined to comment. They noted, for instance, that Trump is scheduled to speak at the RNC's spring donor retreat — a major fundraising source — in April in Palm Beach.
US forces: Rockets hit airbase in Iraq hosting US troops
       
.......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........BAGHDAD — At least 10 rockets targeted a military base in western Iraq that hosts U.S.-led coalition troops on Wednesday, the coalition and the Iraqi military said. The rockets struck Ain al-Asad airbase in Anbar province at 7:20 a.m., coalition spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto said. “Coalition forces are in Iraq to fight Daesh at the invitation of the Iraqi government,” he tweeted, using the Arabic acronym for IS. “Despicable attacks against Ain al-Asad base in #Iraq are completely unacceptable,” Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod tweeted. The forces withdrew from several Iraqi based across the country to consolidate chiefly in Ain al-Asad and Baghad.
‘The East Is Rising’: Xi Maps Out China’s Post-Covid Ascent
       
China’s leaders have seized on the country’s success in extinguishing coronavirus infections as vindicating Mr. Xi’s high-pressure, top-down rule. Having emerged triumphantly from the pandemic, Mr. Xi will look to further centralize his power, said Lynette H. Ong, a political scientist at the University of Toronto. The prospects for Mr. Xi’s plans also depend on questions that go unmentioned in official pronouncements: How long does he intend to rule? China’s political and economic elites are likely to grow increasingly jittery in private about when and how Mr. Xi will promote a potential successor, or stable of successors. The post ‘The East Is Rising’: Xi Maps Out China’s Post-Covid Ascent appeared first on New York Times.
High alert as new QAnon date approaches Thursday
       
Authorities will be on high alert Thursday over a QAnon conspiracy theory prediction, but according to experts chances of violence appear minimal compared to the deadly insurrection on January 6. Even if some QAnon supporters still think that Trump will reassume office, there’s little to suggest they will act on that belief. Authorities are exercising caution regardless given that QAnon supporters were involved in the Jan 6 riots and the theory has been deemed a national security threat by the FBI. The Metropolitan Police Department has not issued any permits for planned events on Thursday, a spokesperson told The Hill Tuesday. While many supporters shared dissatisfaction with the failed prediction, others quickly moved on to the next date.
DeSantis's rising GOP profile fuels 2024 talk
       
DeSantis’s profile grew early on after he took his cue from Trump by not shutting down his state in response to the coronavirus pandemic. DeSantis’s growing support was on full view at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which was held in his home state. The decision to hold the annual conservative gathering in the Sunshine State was directly tied to DeSantis’s handling of the pandemic. “We’re not ‘Florida man,’ ‘Florida woman’ anymore; we’re the free state of Florida now.”Despite Republican praise heaped upon DeSantis, the pandemic has hit the state hard. “If you are working hard to earn a living, we got your back in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said during a state of the state address on Tuesday.
In education and politics, 'personal truths' shouldn't trump facts
       
The university hired a law firm to conduct a thorough investigation and found the student’s accusations of racism were unsupported by the facts. The story, at its core, is of a person constructing an alternate reality inside an ecosystem that nurtures “personal truth” over, well, actual truth. But at the same time the American right plots a return to power by presenting itself as the cure to this galaxy brain thinking, it has largely succumbed to a “personal truth” narrative of its own. This, even though videos and court filings clearly show plenty of authentic Trump supporters ransacking the seat of our government. Johnson, just like the others, has constructed a “personal truth” (or, if you’d rather, is pushing Trump’s personal truth) to explain a perceived injustice — in this case, the erroneous view that the election was stolen from Trump.
Will you be ready to go to work when the pandemic ends? KCTCS can help
       
KCTCS College presidentsOpinion contributorsIn a few months, we hope the worst of COVID-19 is behind us. The answer is: Yes, if Kentuckians seek training from one of the 16 colleges of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. Typically, when unemployment is high, enrollment in community college increases, but that hasn’t happened during COVID. So, will you be ready to go work when the pandemic ends? To be sure you are, visit the KCTCS website for information on programs, scholarships and more that are available at your local college.
First on CNN: Rep. Ronny Jackson made sexual comments, drank alcohol and took Ambien while working as White House physician, Pentagon watchdog finds
       
Members of Congress were briefed on the IG report findings on Tuesday, according to two sources familiar with the matter. One witness, identified in the report as "Bariloche Witness 5," said he did not smell alcohol on Jackson during the trip. But the IG report notes there is no specific restriction on the use of Ambien during long flights. It recommends that the White House Military Office put out guidance on the appropriate use of Ambien and similar drugs. The IG report recommends that the secretary of the Navy take "appropriate action" regarding Jackson.
Chelsea 'have NO CHANCE of signing £100m Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland'
       
Chelsea 'have no chance' of signing Erling Haaland with the deadly striker only attracted to six clubs if he leaves Borussia Dortmund in the summer. According to Sport Bild, Haaland has narrowed his suitors down to the half-a-dozen mentioned, discounting Chelsea and Bayern Munich. It comes after reports Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich was willing to splash the cash to being the top-class striker to Stamford Bridge. These would be the two Manchester clubs, Chelsea and Liverpool. And they are well-placed to reach the last eight of the Champions League after Haaland scored twice in a 3-2 first leg win over Sevilla last month.
Widow of conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh opens up about losing him
       
The widow of conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh has opened up about losing him after he passed away due to complications with lung cancer. Limbaugh, 70, passed away on February 17 and was laid to rest on February 24. Kathryn Limbaugh praised her late husband during an interview on his eponymous radio show, saying that 'he was just shy of a president.' Rush Limbaugh pictured embracing his wife in February 2020. Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh died, aged 70, following a battle with lung cancer'I, like you, very much wish Rush was behind this golden microphone right now, welcoming you to another exceptional three hours of broadcasting.
Iraqi airbase hosting US troops is hit by multiple rockets
       
Despite the rocket attack, Pope Francis said on Wednesday that he would still make the trip 'because the people cannot be let down'. The attack on the sprawling base is the fourth time in less than three weeks that rockets hit a Western installation in the country. Coalition spokesman Colonel Wayne Marotto confirmed that 10 rockets hit the base at 7:20 am (0420 GMT), but did not provide details on any casualties. Iraqi security forces said they had found the platform from which 10 'Grad-type rockets' hit the Ain al-Assad base. Ten of the rockets hit the US airbase and one landed at the Erbil facility, while four failed in flight, American military sources said at the time.
Rockets slam Iraq base hosting US troops days before Pope’s visit
       
At least 10 rockets targeted a military base in western Iraq that hosts US-led coalition troops on Wednesday, the coalition and the Iraqi military said. The attack came two days before Pope Francis makes a historic visit to Iraq, which the pope said would go ahead as planned. Advertising Read moreThe rockets struck Ain al-Asad airbase in Anbar province at 7.20am local time, said spokesman Colonel Wayne Marotto. He made no mention of Wednesday's attack on the Ain al-Asad airbase. “Despicable attacks against Ain al-Asad base in #Iraq are completely unacceptable," Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod tweeted.
House oversight committee subpoenas Trump’s tax records
       
The House Oversight Committee has reissued a subpoena to Donald Trump’s accounting firm, House counsel Doug Letter said in a filing on Tuesday, for information which is likely to include the former president’s tax returns. Investigators are working to get eight years of Mr Trump’s tax records from the accounting firm Mazars USA. However, the documents that the House committee receives from Mr Trump’s longtime accounting firm will not be made public as part of the process. Please enter your email address Please enter a valid email address Please enter a valid email address SIGN UP Thanks for signing up to the Inside Washington newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. Read our privacy notice Thanks for signing up to the Inside Washington newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent.
Arizona's Rep. Paul Gosar: GOP's leading ambassador to white supremacy
       
Advertisement:Fuentes went on to mock Gosar's Republican colleagues and made fun of Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., for using a wheelchair. Walsh noted that just two years ago the Republican Party stripped King of his committee assignments after he questioned why the term "white supremacy "was deemed offensive. "We had Congressman Paul Gosar come to a meeting, he is the elected representative here in Northern Arizona," Arroyo said. Walsh predicted that despite calls for Gosar to be punished, the Republican Party will stay silent because of the effect Trump has had on the party over the last five years. Trump makes signals to a lot of these white supremacists and white nationalists.
Biden cautious in making Trump tax returns decision
       
Neal cited a provision in the federal tax code that states that the Treasury secretary “shall furnish” tax returns requested by the chairs of Congress’s tax committees. Hackney said he “can’t think of any other move” but for the Treasury to eventually decide to provide House Democrats with Trump’s tax returns. Biden has released many years of his tax returns and urged Trump to do the same during his campaign. In addition to their efforts to obtain Trump’s tax returns, congressional Democrats also are pursuing legislation to require presidents to release their tax returns. “If you want presidents and presidential candidates to release their tax returns, we should make it a law,” he said.
Trump’s cash plea could complicate GOP fundraising efforts
       
“President Trump’s Legacy is in your hands,” another pleaded. Before making his money pitch on Sunday, Trump’s team quietly updated its fundraising filings. Money raised through Trump’s website now goes to Save America JFC, a joint fundraising agreement between the two. Regardless of Trump’s next move, the GOP is unlikely to remove him from its sales pitch anytime soon. “Our digital fundraising strategy is simple: raise as much money as possible,” said Andrew Romeo, a spokesman for the RSLC.
Leaked Video Shows Alex Jones Ranting That He's So 'F**king' Sick Of Trump
       
Robertson told Hatewatch that Jones asked him to discard the footage, which he said was shot in January 2019 in Austin, Texas. That I wish I never would have fucking met Trump,” Jones says in the footage. I’m so sick of fucking Donald Trump, man. God, I’m fucking sick of him. He told Hatewatch he is working to undo the damage he did while working with extremists like Jones.
Donald Trump's "real" legacy to America: The weaponization of an alternate reality
       
Sen. Ted Cruz is a proud disciple of Donald Trump's legacy to America — his weaponization of alternate reality . No, they made a purposeful decision to follow their cult leader into the abyss of his alternate reality. Advertisement:A large swath of America has adopted and internalized Trump's use of alternate reality . And now, they believe that the use of alternate reality by both politicians and followers is smart and effective strategy. Advertisement:President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are the antidotes to Trump's alternate reality.
U.S. forces: Rockets hit airbase in Iraq hosting U.S. troops
       
British Ambassador to Iraq Stephen Hickey condemned the attack, saying it undermined the ongoing fight against the Islamic State group. “Coalition forces are in Iraq to fight Daesh at the invitation of the Iraqi government,” he tweeted, using the Arabic acronym for IS. “Despicable attacks against Ain al-Asad base in #Iraq are completely unacceptable,” Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod tweeted. Marotto said the Iraqi security forces were leading an investigation into the attack on Ain al-Asad. The forces withdrew from several Iraqi based across the country to consolidate chiefly in Ain al-Asad and Baghad.
Fauci presents his personal virus model to Smithsonian
       
Fauci presented the donation Tuesday night in a virtual ceremony to honor him with the museum’s Great Americans Medal. (Smithsonian's National Museum of American History via AP)This image from video provided by Smithsonian's National Museum of American History shows Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to the president, holding his personal 3D model of the COVID-19 virus he is donating to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History on Tuesday, March 2, 2020. Fauci presented the donation Tuesday night in a virtual ceremony to honor him with the museum’s Great Americans Medal. (Smithsonian's National Museum of American History via AP)WASHINGTON (AP) — Dr. Anthony Fauci, the face of the U.S. government’s pandemic response, has donated his personal 3D model of the COVID-19 virus to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The museum on Tuesday honored Fauci with its Great Americans Medal.
The House is going to vote on a sweeping voting rights act. What's in it?
       
WASHINGTON – The House is expected to pass the For the People Act this week, which would provide sweeping reforms to protect voters' rights, increase election security, mandate independent redistricting and more. Voting by mail skyrocketed in the 2020 election as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and uncertainty about voting in person. 'Restores the people's faith': House passes a broad anti-corruption and voting rights billEnsure voting rightsOne provision in the bill would restrict voter-roll purges by states that civil rights groups say disproportionately affect minority and low-income residents. During the 2020 primaries and general elections, voters in several states sometimes waited for hours to cast a vote. More:Georgia voters report experiencing long lines, machine issues in twice-postponed primaryIt would give the Department of Justice more power to step in to enforce voting rights.
Opinion | Absolutists Are Taking Over the Anti-Abortion Movement
       
A federal court promptly blocked the law from taking effect, underscoring the concerns of some abortion opponents that the approach was too extreme and would be counterproductive. About a dozen states, including South Carolina, have sought to put such a law on their books but have been blocked by the courts. That 2019 push by abortion absolutists, two years into the Trump presidency, was also a push against a more incremental approach that had dominated the anti-abortion effort. The National Right to Life Committee, a giant in the movement, had warned the heartbeat campaign would backfire at the Supreme Court. Because the South Carolina law made exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape and incest, Republican lawmakers who are relatively moderate voted for the ban.
A Closely Reported Look at Joe Biden’s ‘Lucky’ Path to the White House
       
Image Jonathan Allen Credit... Stuart Hovell“Shattered” arrived in the spring of 2017, when bewildered Democrats were still asking what happened. “Lucky” arrives at a completely different moment. A string of tell-alls about Trump’s White House have recounted a level of backbiting and chaos that made the inner workings of the Clinton campaign look like a Swiss timepiece by comparison. Within the last year alone, a pandemic has killed more than 500,000 Americans and the White House demanded crackdowns on protests against police brutality. Less than two months have passed since Trump supporters invaded the Capitol.
Opinion | Can Republicans Make Populism Work Without Trump?
       
Republicans will spend the next 20 months debating and deciding whether Trumpism will be on the ballot in 2022. Will party leaders continue to embrace Donald Trump’s populist rhetoric? Can it resonate with voters if Trump isn’t the one saying it? Ross Douthat, an Opinion columnist at The New York Times, and Michael Brendan Dougherty, a senior writer at National Review, offer their own definitions of populism and debate with Jane populism’s merits, if Trumpism is real and whether Trump allies in the Republican Party will be the future or the demise of the Grand Old Party.
Lawmakers to question FBI, defense officials as they probe failures precipitating Capitol riot
       
ADAD“An online thread discussed specific calls for violence to include stating ‘Be ready to fight. Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in, and blood from their BLM and Pantifa slave soldiers being spilled,’ ” the report stated. NOTHING else will achieve this goal.’ ”BLM is a common reference to the Black Lives Matter movement for racial justice. The hearing Wednesday will allow lawmakers to press the FBI about the intelligence that the agency gathered, as well as military and homeland security officials about their response to the possible threat. In addition to congressional inquiries, the inspectors general of several federal agencies are investigating officials’ response.
US troops targeted in Iraq less than week after Biden airstrikes
       
US troops targeted in Iraq less than week after Biden airstrikesAn air base in Iraq that hosts U.S., Iraqi and coalition troops was targeted Wednesday as multiple rockets struck the facility, according to a report. The rocket fire came less than a week after President Biden ordered airstrikes in Syria -- and just days after sources told Fox News that the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve raised the threat level for U.S. troops serving in Iraq. The base was the same one targeted last February in an attack that left about 100 troops with head injuries, Bloomberg News reported. The rocket fire also came as Pope Francis planned a historic visit to Iraq for later this week that would make him the first pontiff to ever visit the country. Fox News’ Go Watch page is now available, providing visitors with Pay TV provider options in their area carrying Fox News Channel & Fox Business Network.
Flashback: Gov. Cuomo in 2018 assailed 'disrespect for women' by 'sexist and disgusting' Trump administration
       
Andrew Cuomo has encountered a wave of criticism as multiple allegations that he made unwanted sexual advances have surfaced in recent days. SCHUMER SAYS CUOMO SEXUAL HARASSMENT ALLEGATIONS ARE 'SERIOUS, VERY TROUBLING'"They have always diminished the charges of women -- always, consistently, and they're doing it again," Cuomo insisted. "To cheapen or ridicule the pain a woman suffers from a sexual attack is disgusting -- sexist and disgusting. Another, Charlotte Bennett, 25, alleged that Cuomo told her he was open to relationships with women in their 20s. Anna Ruch, who did not work for Cuomo, was reported Monday to have said he asked to kiss her at a wedding.
Tim Allen: ‘I Kind Of Liked' That Donald Trump Pissed People Off
       
Tim Allen got a kick out of ex-President Donald Trump making people mad, the actor revealed in a new interview in which he also explained why he’s a conservative. “I literally don’t preach anything,” said Allen, who described himself as a fiscal conservative. I don’t like that, ‘We should do this’ or, ‘We should do that.’”“Once I realized that the last president pissed people off, I kind of liked that,” Allen added. If you don’t like it then wait ’til the next election.”Listen to the full episode here. Allen’s comments about Trump are from the 62-minute mark.
Trump aides build out the MAGA-verse with new groups
       
Carson said in an interview that his American Cornerstone Institute is a conservative think tank that will emphasize election integrity, one of the ex-president’s fixations. Carson has also set up a PAC, Think BIG America, which can engage in elections and dish out funds to favored candidates. During an appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference over the weekend, he urged supporters to donate to Save America, which has already banked tens of millions of dollars. Rollins said she has drawn staffers from the White House, the Trump campaign and Capitol Hill. Carson dismissed the idea that there would be clashing between the different groups and noted that his organization had been in touch with Vought’s.
The real post-Trump GOP divide: House vs. Senate
       
Hugging Trump has become priority number one for most House Republicans, with feting the former president in Mar-a-Lago becoming a rite of passage among their leaders. House and Senate Republicans are taking divergent stances toward President Joe Biden and some of his priorities, even as they unite in opposition to his coronavirus bill. But they got there from different places, as Senate Republicans actually met with Biden to see if they could work together just a few weeks ago. Senate Republicans are open to cutting a deal on raising the minimum wage and are warmer toward earmarks, in addition to some presidential nominees, than House Republicans would like. NRSC Chair Rick Scott (R-Fla.) said he only learned this week that House Republicans don’t have the same policy of protecting incumbents.
We asked governors what they want from Biden. Here’s what they told us.
       
Almost certainly, this reflects the nature of a governor’s job, rather than that these particular politicians are somehow wired differently in their interests. | Kim Chandler/APWhat about your job worries you the most right now, and why? | Sarah Blesener/The New York Times via AP, PoolWhat about your job worries you the most right now, and why? | Ellen M. Banner/The Seattle Times via AP, PoolWhat about your job worries you the most right now, and why? What about your job worries you the most right now, and why?
Biden prepares blitz of action to prod schools to reopen
       
The blitz is part of an intensified administration-wide push to reopen schools, as the Biden White House hurtles toward a 100-day self-imposed deadline to return children to the classroom. Beyond that, Biden administration officials are eyeing ways to use the bully pulpit of the White House to highlight examples of schools safely reopening. As the state’s education commissioner, Cardona pushed Connecticut schools to reopen during the pandemic without alienating the state’s teachers unions, who backed his confirmation. That left Biden’s transition team to attempt to head off some of the biggest obstacles to school reopening on its own. Mulgrew said he conveyed that key components to reopening schools also included aggressive testing and contact tracing.
Why Fox News is focused on Dr. Seuss instead of the Covid stimulus bill
       
Instead, it apparently now cares a lot about whether cancel culture is coming for Dr. Seuss. It would be funny if the talking heads on Fox News weren't so serious about it. That lack of focus on Biden's agenda from Fox News may be why Biden's stimulus bill is racking up support from all corners. The core of the GOP's war plan is to go on offense with these skirmishes in the culture war while at the same time focusing on heavy defense and a siege mentality in Washington. That's how we find ourselves in a position in which a majority of Republicans support Biden's stimulus bill — but a majority also still thinks the election was stolen from President Donald Trump.
The Jan. 6 Riot Could Have Brought Lawmakers Together. It Did The Opposite
       
The Jan. 6 Riot Could Have Brought Lawmakers Together. For most Democrats that was an unconscionable act that has eroded trust and affected lawmakers ability to work together. Several Democrats have also also alleged — without evidence — that some Republican lawmakers may have aided Capitol rioters. Davis says the metal detectors and those kinds of allegations have likewise eroded trust among Republicans towards Democrats. Congress may need to hand over this investigation to an outside entity because there's no indication House lawmakers can do it together.
State Department Should Be More Diverse And Engaged Across U.S., Report Says
       
Saifee says this type of "subnational diplomacy" should be a priority at the State Department. She is one of the current State Department employees who contributed to a new report, "Transforming State," from the Truman Center, a think tank in Washington. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has also promised to make the State Department look more like America, announcing in February that he would appoint a chief diversity and inclusion officer as a first step. Race Government Accountability Office Says State Department Lacks Diversity Government Accountability Office Says State Department Lacks Diversity Listen · 3:46 3:46Getting Congress involved is important because the agency doesn't have the kind of constituency that the military has, says Truman Center CEO Jenna Ben-Yehuda. Olson left the State Department in 2014 to start a family and move home to Oregon.
Iraq air base that hosts U.S. troops targeted by rockets
       
BAGHDAD (AP) — At least 10 rockets targeted a military base in western Iraq that hosts U.S.-led coalition troops on Wednesday, the coalition and the Iraqi military said. The rockets struck Ain al-Asad air base in Anbar province at 7:20 a.m., spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto said. An Iraqi military official said they had been found in the al-Baghdadi area of Anbar, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not permitted to brief media. “Despicable attacks against Ain al-Asad base in #Iraq are completely unacceptable,” Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod tweeted. The forces withdrew from several Iraqi based across the country to consolidate chiefly in Ain al-Asad and Baghad.
5,000 National Guard troops remain in DC amid QAnon frenzy that Trump will be inaugurated again this week
       
National Guard troops gather in front of the US Capitol in Washington. (Reuters)Nearly 5,000 National Guard troops are in Washington, DC this week for an inauguration that won’t happen. That’s because followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory believe that on 4 March, which was once the inauguration date of US presidents, Donald Trump will become president again. Pentagon officials say they are working to determine how many troops will still be needed after the request expires. Trump has denied having any knowledge of QAnon, but some believers think he’s sending them a signal about 4 March through his hotel.
How Rich Are Reese Witherspoon and Other Top TV Stars?
       
The GuardianState department ‘not in a position to detail the identity’ of those on list as US under heavy criticism for failure to sanction Saudi heir The crown prince in Riyadh on Sunday. Mohammed Bin Salman approved the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, a US intelligence assessment found. Photograph: Bandar Al-Jaloud/Saudi Royal Palace/AFP/Getty Images The US state department has refused to say whether Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is one of the Saudi officials subject to US visa restrictions under the new “Khashoggi ban”. On Monday, the state department spokesperson, Ned Price, would not say whether Prince Mohammed was on the list. When pressed on the crown prince, he added: “I’m not including or excluding anyone specifically on that list.
Musk Floats ‘Starbase’ Name Change for Texas Launch Town
       
Bloomberg(Bloomberg) -- Twice in the last week, the U.S. announced new sanctions against Russia and Saudi Arabia over what it called human rights abuses. That followed similar criticism when Biden declined to target Saudi Arabia’s crown prince after releasing an intelligence report accusing him of approving the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.U.S. It was the same with the Saudi sanctions. Vowing a reciprocal reaction, he said the new sanctions “have no effect or purpose.” Still, Navalny’s allies welcomed the moves. “But the most painful sanctions, which neither Europe nor the U.S. imposed, are the ones against oligarchs.”The Biden administration counters that the criticism is unwarranted.
Bridge: March 3, 2021
       
When West threw a spade, declarer shifted to clubs: He took the A-K and led a third club. Alas, East ruffed and led a spade, and West won and led a fourth club. East can’t gain by ruffing the third club since West has no entry to give a second ruff. DAILY QUESTIONYou hold: S A 9 H 8 6 2 D 9 8 5 4 2 C K 5 3. If partner has five spades and four clubs, he will usually do better at a spade contract.
National security officials to testify on Jan. 6 mistakes
       
WASHINGTON — Federal national security officials are set to testify in the second Senate hearing about what went wrong on Jan. 6, facing questions about missed intelligence and botched efforts to quickly gather National Guard troops that day as a violent mob laid siege to the US Capitol. So far, lawmakers conducting investigations have focused on failed efforts to gather and share intelligence about the insurrectionists’ planning before Jan. 6 and on the deliberations among officials about whether and when to call National Guard troops to protect Congress. AdvertisementThe hearing comes as thousands of National Guard troops are still patrolling the fenced-in Capitol and as multiple committees across Congress are launching investigations into mistakes made on Jan. 6. As the Senate hears from the federal officials, acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman will testify before a House panel that is also looking into how security failed. He said he had quickly deployed his own officers and he was “shocked” that the National Guard “could not — or would not — do the same."
Trump's cash plea could complicate GOP fundraising efforts
       
While some Republicans grapple with how fiercely to embrace the former president, the organizations charged with raising money for the party are going all in. In his first speech since leaving office, the former president encouraged loyalists to give directly to him, essentially bypassing the traditional groups that raise money for GOP candidates. “And that’s through Save America PAC and donaldjtrump.com.”The comment was particularly notable because Trump is generally loath to ask for money in person. That could help him add to an already commanding war chest, aiding his effort to influence the party. Save America has more than $80 million cash on hand, including $3 million raised after the CPAC speech, according to a person familiar with the total.
National security officials to testify on Jan. 6 mistakes
       
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal national security officials are set to testify in the second Senate hearing about what went wrong on Jan. 6, facing questions about missed intelligence and botched efforts to quickly gather National Guard troops that day as a violent mob laid siege to the U.S. Capitol. Senators are eager Wednesday to grill the officials from the Pentagon, the National Guard and the Justice and Homeland Security departments about their preparations as supporters of then-President Donald Trump talked online, in some cases openly, about gathering in Washington and interrupting the electoral count. So far, lawmakers conducting investigations have focused on failed efforts to gather and share intelligence about the insurrectionists’ planning before Jan. 6 and on the deliberations among officials about whether and when to call National Guard troops to protect Congress. The officials at the hearing last week, including ousted Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, gave conflicting accounts of those negotiations. Robert Contee, the acting chief of police for the Metropolitan Police Department, told senators he was “stunned” over the delayed response and said Sund was pleading with Army officials to deploy National Guard troops as the rioting rapidly escalated.
Biden gives China a pass on oppression, brutality
       
Those words — except for substituting China for Germany and Xi Jinping for Hitler — were spoken by President Joe Biden. Biden went soft on China by saying he would bring the matter up at the UN to “impact” China’s attitude toward the Uyghurs. But this was China Joe, and China Joe gets a pass. He was not going to get involved and upset his friend Xi Jinping by dumping on him over the Uyghurs. Joe Biden, Made in China.
Reggie Cannon: 'Explaining America feels like describing medieval times'
       
There is no hesitation from Reggie Cannon when he considers whether his view of America has changed since moving to Europe. “Looking at the insurrection, Texas freezing over right now … explaining to my teammates what is going on in the country is baffling to me. But Cannon is not the first member of his family to distinguish himself in his chosen field. Now we have moved past that.”The challenge for the rest of America is to recover from the Trump reign. Cannon and his national teammates could be a sporting side at the forefront of a country requiring unification.
US militia group draws members from military and police, website leak shows
       
Sign up for the Guardian's First Thing newsletterA Guardian investigation of a website leak from the American Patriots Three Percent shows the anti-government militia group have recruited a network across the United States that includes current and former military members, police and border patrol agents. But the leak also demonstrates how the radical group has recruited from a broad swath of Americans, not just military and law enforcement. There has been a particular focus on the militia movement after the 6 January attack on the Capitol in Washington DC, in which a rampaging pro-Trump mob included militia members and others from far-right organizations. Many of the members revealed by the leak have extensive armed forces experience, including some who are still serving in branches of the US military. Dr Balog was another AP3% member who responded to requests for comment on the website leak.
US forces: Rockets hit airbase in Iraq hosting US troops
       
The U.S.-led coalition in Iraq says at least 10 rockets have targeted a military base in western Iraq that hosts American troopsBAGHDAD -- At least 10 rockets targeted a military base in western Iraq that hosts U.S.-led coalition troops on Wednesday, the coalition and the Iraqi military said. The rockets struck Ain al-Asad airbase in Anbar province at 7:20 a.m., coalition spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto said. The Iraqi military released a statement saying the attack did not cause significant losses and that security forces had found the launch pad used for the rockets. “Coalition forces are in Iraq to fight Daesh at the invitation of the Iraqi government,” he tweeted, using the Arabic acronym for IS. “Despicable attacks against Ain al-Asad base in #Iraq are completely unacceptable," Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod tweeted.
Biden brings no relief to tensions between US and China
       
In this Feb. 27, 2021, photo, President Joe Biden speaks on the economy in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. Biden took office promising to move quickly to restore and repair America’s relations with the rest of the world. Biden took office promising to move quickly to restore and repair America’s relations with the rest of the world. From Iran to Russia, Europe to Latin America, Biden has sought to cool tensions that rose during President Donald Trump’s four years in office. “There has been huge deviation between what they believe China is and what China really is,” Yu said.
Former Trump Attorney General Sessions regrets migrant family separations
       
FILE PHOTO: Former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks after results are announced for his candidacy in the Republican Party U.S. Senate primary in Mobile, Alabama, U.S. March 3, 2020. Efforts are still ongoing in court to locate the parents of more than 500 separated children. Trump publicly criticized Sessions during his time as attorney general for recusing himself from overseeing a probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Still, Sessions aggressively implemented Trump’s hardline immigration agenda before being ousted by Trump in November 2018. A U.S. Department of Justice internal watchdog report released in January said Sessions’ office was “a driving force” in the Trump administration decision to refer families for criminal prosecution and that Sessions himself was aware it could lead to family separations.
GOP civil war: Adam Kinzinger tears into Josh Hawley and his “smug face” during CPAC speech
       
Anti-Trump Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger tore into fellow Republican, but leader of the so-called insurrectionist caucus of the GOP, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., for bragging about his efforts to overturn the election during his speech at CPAC on Friday. "But look, all you have to do is see Josh Hawley's smug face at CPAC. Kinzinger, one of the nine House Republicans who broke ranks by voting to impeach Trump, has drawn sharp divides within the Republican Party. Kinzinger admitted during the interview that he "lost respect for Hawley" after the Senator's objection to the election results. "I'm probably as conservative as [Sen. Hawley]," he said.
Iraq military base used by U.S. hit by rockets year after similar attack brought U.S. and Iran close to war
       
Baghdad — At least 10 rockets targeted a military base in western Iraq that hosts about 2,000 U.S. troops on Wednesday, American and Iraqi military officials said. The rockets struck Ain al-Asad airbase in Anbar province at 7:20 a.m., according to Col. Wayne Marotto, a spokesman for the U.S.-led military coalition. "Despicable attacks against Ain al-Asad base in #Iraq are completely unacceptable," Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod tweeted. Despicable attacks against Ain al-Asad base in #Iraq are completely unacceptable. Initial report: 10 IDF rockets targeted an Iraqi military base, Al Asad Airbase, hosting Coalition troops, on March 03, 2021 at approx 7:20 a.m. (Iraqi time).
Biden's COVID-19 relief plan, deadly car crash near US-Mexico border: 5 things to know Wednesday
       
EditorsUSA TODAYSenate braces for marathon debate on Biden's COVID-19 relief planPresident Joe Biden's months-long crusade to pass a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus plan may enter its final stretch Wednesday, when senators could begin 20 hours of debate on the measure that is expected to come to a vote later in the week. Democrats left scrambling on a $15 minimum wage now that it appears left out of COVID-19 stimulus billPrefer to listen? Check out the 5 things podcast:Investigation into deadly SUV crash near U.S.-Mexico borderAt least 13 people died after an SUV packed with dozens of passengers collided with a semi-truck near the U.S.-Mexican border Tuesday, according to California Highway Patrol officials. "Obviously, that vehicle is not meant for that many people," said California Highway Patrol Division Chief Omar Watson. Macario Mora, a spokesman for Customs and Border Protection in Yuma and El Centro, said the Border Patrol was helping other law enforcement with the crash.
Rockets strike Iraq base housing U.S. troops ahead of Pope Francis visit
       
Multiple rockets struck an airbase in Iraq hosting U.S. troops on Wednesday, according to a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition forces in the country. It is relatively rare for rocket attacks of this kind to take place during the day. The U.S. strike along the Iraq-Syria border had been in response to a spate of rocket attacks that have targeted the U.S. presence — about 2,500 troops — in Iraq. Related:Iran says it will begin limiting international monitoring of its nuclear sitesPope Francis is due to visit Iraq Friday-Monday. There was no immediate White House response to Wednesday's rocket attack.
Rockets Hit Airbase In Iraq Hosting U.S. Troops, 2 Days Before Pope Visit
       
BAGHDAD (AP) — At least 10 rockets targeted a military base in western Iraq that hosts U.S.-led coalition troops on Wednesday, the coalition and the Iraqi military said. The rockets struck Ain al-Asad airbase in Anbar province at 7:20 a.m., spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto said. An Iraqi military official said they had been found in the al-Baghdadi area of Anbar, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not permitted to brief media. “Despicable attacks against Ain al-Asad base in #Iraq are completely unacceptable,” Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod tweeted. Wednesday’s attack comes two days before Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Iraq in a much-anticipated trip that will include Baghdad, southern Iraq and the northern city of Irbil.
Anti-Trump Republicans are facing punishment back home. But don't call it a civil war.
       
In Louisiana, the state GOP censured one of its U.S. senators, Bill Cassidy, moments after he voted to convict Trump. North Carolina's state GOP passed a similar measure aimed at Sen. Richard Burr just days later. In Arizona, the state GOP censured Gov. "And this talk of a serious divide in the Republican Party, it just isn't real." And in Utah, the state GOP issued a lengthy statement saying there is room for both Sens.
Fauci Donates Personal Coronavirus Model To Smithsonian
       
Fauci Donates Personal Coronavirus Model To SmithsonianEnlarge this image toggle caption The National Museum of American History The National Museum of American HistoryThere may be light at the end of the tunnel for the pandemic, but one piece of the virus will live on. Dr. Anthony Fauci, who became the public face of the government's coronavirus response with daily press conferences and media interviews, on Tuesday donated his personal model of the SARS-CoV-2 virion to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. In keeping with social distancing rules, Fauci made the donation virtually during the museum's "Great Americans Program" Tuesday. During the event, Fauci also received the museum's signature Great Americans medal for his work during the coronavirus pandemic and for his work on HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, as well as other emerging diseases. The Great Americans medal has previously been given to Madeleine K. Albright, Cal Ripken Jr., Billie Jean King and others.
UN atomic watchdog: Deal with Iran key to full inspections
       
Iran began restricting international inspections last week, but under a last-minute deal worked out during a trip to Tehran by Rafael Grossi, the head of the Vienna-based U.N. atomic watchdog, some access was preserved. Otherwise, Iran has vowed to erase the tapes, narrowing the window for a diplomatic breakthrough. That means they're not able to form as complete a picture of Iran's nuclear program, Grossi suggested. Inspections are a critical part of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA. Story continuesU.S. President Joe Biden has said he is ready to join talks with Iran and world powers to discuss a return to the deal.
Biden’s Russia, Saudi Sanctions Spark Grumblings of Weakness
       
(Bloomberg) -- Twice in the last week, the U.S. announced new sanctions against Russia and Saudi Arabia over what it called human rights abuses. They say the U.S. could sanction Russia’s oligarchs or its sovereign debt, and fault him for declining to punish the crown prince. It was the same with the Saudi sanctions. Story continuesThat approach was a disappointment to those who believe the Saudi crown prince deserves direct punishment for his role in Khashoggi’s murder, as it was to Navalny’s supporters. “But the most painful sanctions, which neither Europe nor the U.S. imposed, are the ones against oligarchs.”The Biden administration counters that the criticism is unwarranted.
Biden brings no relief to tensions between US and China
       
From Iran to Russia, Europe to Latin America, Biden has sought to cool tensions that rose during President Donald Trump’s four years in office. Although the Biden administration has halted the ferocious rhetorical attacks and near daily announcements of new sanctions on China that had become commonplace under Trump, it has yet to back down on any of Trump's actions against Beijing. China and the United States are the world’s two largest economies and the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases. The backdrop is clear: The United States is convinced that it and China are engaged in a duel for global dominance. “There has been huge deviation between what they believe China is and what China really is,” Yu said.
'We all want to know': FBI, Capitol police remain mum on what killed Officer Brian Sicknick
       
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, told FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday that there were conflicting reports about Sicknick's cause of death. "We all want to know what happened to Officer Brian Sicknick," Grassley said. Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee there is an investigation, but he couldn't say whether a cause of death has been determined. His father Charles Sicknick told Reuters that the officer was struck in the head and sprayed with pepper spray. This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Brian Sicknick: FBI, Capitol Police mum on officer's death in riots
US forces: Rockets hit airbase in Iraq hosting US troops
       
BAGHDAD (AP) — At least 10 rockets targeted a military base in western Iraq that hosts U.S.-led coalition troops on Wednesday, the coalition and the Iraqi military said. The rockets struck Ain al-Asad airbase in Anbar province at 7:20 a.m., spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto said. “Despicable attacks against Ain al-Asad base in #Iraq are completely unacceptable," Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod tweeted. Marotto said the Iraqi security forces were leading an investigation into the attack on Ain al-Asad. The forces withdrew from several Iraqi based across the country to consolidate chiefly in Ain al-Asad and Baghad.
National security officials set for Senate grilling on Capitol riot missteps
       
Federal national security officials are set to testify in the second Senate hearing about what went wrong on Jan. 6, facing questions about missed intelligence and botched efforts to quickly gather National Guard troops that day as a violent mob laid siege to the U.S. Capitol. So far, lawmakers conducting investigations have focused on failed efforts to gather and share intelligence about the insurrectionists’ planning and on the deliberations among officials about whether and when to call in National Guard troops to protect Congress. AdvertisementThe officials at last week’s hearing, including ousted Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, gave conflicting accounts of those negotiations. The hearing comes as thousands of National Guard troops still patrol the fenced-in Capitol and as multiple committees across Congress launch investigations into the mistakes of Jan. 6. As the Senate hears from the federal officials, acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman will testify before a House panel that is also looking into how security failed.
Trump wants GOP supporters’ cash. So does the party. Therein could lie a rub
       
Save America has more than $80 million cash on hand, including $3 million raised after the CPAC speech, according to a person familiar with the total. He’s already endorsed a Republican challenger to GOP Rep. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, who voted to impeach Trump over the U.S. Capitol riot. Money raised through Trump’s website now goes to Save America JFC, a joint fundraising agreement between the two. AdvertisementAnd the National Republican Senatorial Committee warned this week that its “limited edition” T-shirts featuring Trump were almost sold out. Regardless of Trump’s next move, the GOP is unlikely to remove him from its sales pitch anytime soon.
The Senate must pass the Equality Act
       
Yet few events would be as potent as passage of the Equality Act, which would extend existing civil rights protections to include sexual orientation and gender identity. On the same day that the Equality Act passed in the House, Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky launched into a transphobic attack against Dr. Rachel Levine, a trans woman, during her Senate confirmation hearing. To avoid a filibuster (one reason to dump this ugly relic of the Jim Crow era), the Equality Act needs 60 votes — that means every Democrat, plus 10 Republicans senators. As law, the long-gestating Equality Act would align with greater social acceptance of sexual orientation and gender identity. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said last week, “The Civil Rights Act is a sacred pillar of freedom in our country.
Trump and Biden news live: President moves vaccine dates forward
       
US President Joe Biden speaks about the administration’s response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic at the White House in Washington, US, March 2, 2021 (REUTERS)President Joe Biden has moved forward his aim for enough Covid vaccine doses for every American adult across the US by two months, having said that the administration will aim to have enough shots for everyone who wants one by the end of May. The target comes as the president faces ongoing challenges in the formation of his cabinet, which is taking shape at the slowest pace of any in modern history with just over a dozen nominees for top posts confirmed more than a month into his tenure. Elsewhere, Donald Trump’s biographer has compared the former president to notorious American gangster Al Capone, as prosecutors were closing in on the Trump Organisation’s longtime chief financial officer for details about the former president’s financial dealings. In an interview on Tuesday, biographer Timothy L O’Brien, author of Trumpnation: The Art of Being the Donald, made the comments amid discussions that New York state prosecutors are sharpening their focus on the company’s longtime chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg.
State-sponsored hackers in China targeting email services: Microsoft
       
Microsoft says a state-sponsored hacking group based in China has been exploiting previously unknown vulnerabilities in its email servicesAdvertising Read moreSan Francisco (AFP)Microsoft has said a state-sponsored hacking group operating out of China is exploiting previously unknown security flaws in its Exchange email services to steal data from business users. The company said the hacking group, which it has named "Hafnium", is a "highly skilled and sophisticated actor". Microsoft said the group was based in China but operated through leased virtual private servers in the United States, and that it had briefed the US government. Last year it accused Washington of smears following allegations that Chinese hackers were attempting to steal coronavirus research. Microsoft said Tuesday the Hafnium attacks "were in no way connected to the separate SolarWinds-related attacks."
What We Got in Biden
       
The Democratic Party coalesced around Biden in 2020, even though most knew that his domestic and foreign policies of the past would lead in a direct line to what now seems obvious. The Biden administration’s actions of the past few days have borne out the fears of those of us who knew better. How presidential Biden looked while he carried out the air attack in Syria. Military-industrial-financial interests can certainly be proud of Biden with trillions of dollars already pissed away. While right-wing Trump supporters parade a golden calf of Trump in Orlando, Florida, Biden orders bombs dropped in Syria.
US forces: Rockets hit airbase in Iraq hosting US troops
       
At least 10 rockets targeted a military base in western Iraq that hosts U.S.-led coalition troops on Wednesday, March 3, 2021, the coalition and the Iraqi military said. At least 10 rockets targeted a military base in western Iraq that hosts U.S.-led coalition troops on Wednesday, March 3, 2021, the coalition and the Iraqi military said. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser, File)BAGHDAD (AP) — At least 10 rockets targeted a military base in western Iraq that hosts U.S.-led coalition troops on Wednesday, the coalition and the Iraqi military said. The rockets struck Ain al-Asad airbase in Anbar province at 7:20 a.m., spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto said. “Despicable attacks against Ain al-Asad base in #Iraq are completely unacceptable,” Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod tweeted.
Report: Some Fox News staffers are furious over Kayleigh McEnany joining the network
       
For her next act, Kayleigh McEnany is heading to Fox News to serve as a contributor — a hire that was met with groans inside the network's newsroom, several employees told The Daily Beast. Fox News is "quickly becoming a very scary place and quite dangerous for our democracy," they added. McEnany has "name recognition, notoriety, and an obvious willingness to say anything her employer desires," a third Fox News employee said. Fox News is trying to woo back viewers who didn't like that on election night, the network correctly projected that Biden would win Arizona. Fox News ratings dipped, with the network finishing in third place for the first time in two decades, The Daily Beast reports.
Biden under pressure to reverse Trump's aid cuts in Yemen
       
Relief organizations warn the continued aid suspension will exacerbate what the United Nations already considers the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. “This needless suffering will only be compounded by the ongoing USAID suspension,” a coalition of anti-war and civil society groups said in a letter to President Joe Biden last week. Blinken announced nearly $191 million in additional humanitarian assistance for Yemen. The push to restore aid to Houthi-controlled northern Yemen comes as pressure builds on the Biden administration over its handling of the rebel group. “They’re going to have to walk it back,” an aid official said of the US funding suspension.
Domestic Terrorism Threat Is ‘Metastasizing’ in U.S., F.B.I. Director Says
       
also investigated white supremacists suspected of menacing protesters. In contrast, the Biden administration has made fighting domestic terrorism a priority. and the Justice Department decided to elevate the threat posed by antigovernment and anti-authority extremists such as militias and anarchists. Still, bureau officials listed the threat a tier below the one presented by racially motivated violent extremists like neo-Nazis. Mr. Wray pointed out another alarming trend: The number of white supremacists arrested in 2020 had almost tripled from when he started running the F.B.I.
Trump blames Congress leaders and Pelosi for Capitol riots
       
Trump blames Congress leaders and Pelosi for Capitol riots - 'that was a big mistake'Added: 03.03.2021 9:16 | 6 views | 0 commentsDONALD TRUMP has claimed that he requested 10,000 National Guard troops be deployed in anticipation of the Capitol riots in January, according to his latest defence.
Donald Trump: The Republicans who could quash Trump's 2024 hopes
       
Donald Trump: The Republicans who could quash Trump's 2024 hopes - including his sonAdded: 03.03.2021 9:16 | 6 views | 0 commentsDONALD TRUMP hinted he might run for office again in 2024 in his first speech since leaving the presidential office.
Police bolster security at US Capitol as QAnon theory claims Trump will become president March 4
       
Police bolster security at US Capitol as QAnon theory claims Trump will become president March 4Added: 03.03.2021 4:16 | 15 views | 0 commentsIt's unclear how many QAnon supporters support the March 4 inauguration theory and whether there will be any violence that day in Washington, D.C.
What’s the Deal With Andrew Cuomo’s Nipples? An Investigation
       
Andrew Cuomo Photo: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty ImagesBy now you have probably seen them. Ashley Abrego, a piercer at Studs who has modified many nipples, told New York’s Intelligencer, “To me, they’re definitely pierced. Almost certainly.”After Cuomo’s nipples showed up at his daily press briefing this week, the internet was quick to surface photos from 2017 in which his nipples, covered by a similar white polo shirt, didn’t resemble the 2020 version at all. Back in 2011, the former congressman stepped onto the House floor wearing a light-blue sweater through which his nipples were visible to anybody watching C-Span. “Barney Frank looked disgusting — nipples protruding — in his blue shirt before Congress.
Americans Who Masterminded Carlos Ghosn’s Escape Now in Japanese Custody
       
Carlos Ghosn, former chairman of Nissan Motor Co., as he leaves his residence for a pre-trial hearing at the Tokyo District Court in Tokyo, Japan, on Thursday, May 23, 2019. In February, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer denied the bid to put the Taylors extradition on hold. Shortly before Michael Taylor was arrested, he gave an interview to Vanity Fair, detailing the incredible, cinematic story of Ghosn’s escape. “I felt he was a hostage,” Taylor told Vanity Fair. They then put Ghosn inside the box, and flew to Istabul, out of an airport that didn’t have scanners big enough to process the container that hid Ghosn.
Freedom House report shows further worldwide decline in Democracy
       
Freedom House grades individual countries on 25 indicators that evaluate the health of a given nation’s democracy (or lack thereof). The cumulative score then enables the organization, which has been in operation since 1941, to rank a given country as “Free,” “Partly Free,” or “Not Free” (see map below). Freedom House judged Kyrgyzstan to be “Not Free.”As in previous years, major pro-democracy protests rocked various parts of the world. For years, Freedom House was seen by some critics on the left as a platform for Cold War moralizing, a cog in a larger Washington apparatus aimed at justifying American hegemony. But Freedom House also took issue with the United States.
Live stimulus updates: Senate braces for marathon debate on Joe Biden's COVID relief plan
       
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Tuesday Democrats are "on track" to pass the bill by March 14, when a federal boost to unemployment benefits expires. Under the Senate process being used to pass the bill, debate on the bill is capped at 20 hours, but it will be followed by a period where senators can introduce amendments to the legislation but cannot debate them. There are unlikely to be many other substantive changes in the bill by the time it returns to the House. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said the House would likely vote on the bill on Monday. He did not think the Senate would adopt any changes "so egregious" the bill would fail when it came back to the House.
Kamala Harris tweet celebrating Dr. Seuss in 2017 resurfaces after president's omission
       
Richard Grenell, former acting director of national intelligence under former President Trump, retweeted the post that said: "Happy birthday, #DrSeuss! Biden stoked criticism Tuesday for failing to mention Dr. Seuss, whose real name was Theodor Geisel, in his address. In 2017, Melania Trump celebrated Read Across America Day by reading Dr. Seuss books to hospitalized children. Dr. Seuss Enterprises on Tuesday said it would stop printing six of his books because of insensitive and racist imagery in the illustrations. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPThe White House and the National Education Association did not immediately return Fox News after-hours requests for comment.
Dr. Seuss flap: The pointlessness of imposing wokeness on the past
       
And when Michelle Obama or Melania Trump wanted to read a book to school kids, it was "Oh the Places You’ll Go." So when I heard rumblings that Dr. Seuss was no longer acceptable in 2021, it seemed bizarre. Then President Biden, releasing an Education Department proclamation for yesterday’s Read Across America Day, made no mention of Seuss, unlike his two predecessors. Dr. Seuss did traffic in anti-black and anti-Semitic images as a Dartmouth student in the 1920s, but he later became a civil rights supporter. But we have more important things to do than constantly trying to whitewash every book and show produced by our flawed past.
China Revs Up Grand Chip Ambitions to Counter U.S. Blacklistings
       
(Bloomberg) --In just two decades, China sent people into space, built its own aircraft carrier and developed a stealth fighter jet. China wants to build a coterie of technology giants that can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Intel Corp. and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., conferring the same priority on that effort as it accorded to building atomic capability. “At the same time, China will strive to achieve self reliance and strengthen our own capabilities.”Story continuesThe World Is Short of Computer Chips. China will increase fiscal support for scientific research and encourage leading companies to join national programs, he added. “The investment commitment that China is making ensures that the Chinese semiconductor ecosystem will continue to play an important role in the progress of our industry and the overall IT market,” said IDC’s Morales.
Biden says will have enough COVID-19 vaccine for every U.S. adult by May
       
Bloomberg(Bloomberg) -- In just two decades, China sent people into space, built its own aircraft carrier and developed a stealth fighter jet. Beijing’s blueprint for chip supremacy is enshrined in a five-year economic vision to be unveiled during a summit of top leaders in the capital this week. “At the same time, China will strive to achieve self reliance and strengthen our own capabilities.”The World Is Short of Computer Chips. It will now continue to bankroll research and investment in coming years, Wang said last week. China will increase fiscal support for scientific research and encourage leading companies to join national programs, he added.
Donations, fees and sales: the funds that maintain the White House’s ‘museum quality’
       
In 1961, Jackie Kennedy founded the White House Historical Association (WHHA) to protect, preserve and guarantee public access to America’s most famous address. Alma Thomas’s artwork, right, is the first in the White House by an African American female artist. Michelle Obama did the State Dining Room and the Old Family Dining Room, also on the state floor. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesThe White House Endowment Trust only deals with renovations within the White House walls, while changes to the external grounds would typically fall under the General Services Administration or National Park Service. Last year, Melania Trump opened a new tennis pavilion on the south grounds of the White House.
Seasoned U.S. diplomat needed as China envoy
       
Who will be the next U.S. ambassador to China? It’s time for U.S. President Joe Biden to stop playing politics and choose someone of a diplomatic temperament who knows China well. But so far, most of the names tipped for this key envoy position have been unqualified, puzzling or outright inappropriate. In December, the name Pete Buttigieg was kicked around as a possible U.S. ambassador to China, though he quickly settled for a domestic position as transportation secretary instead. She holds mainstream Democratic Party plank positions on gun control and abortion, but has no diplomatic experience and knows nothing about China.
10 rockets hit Iraq base hosting US troops: security sources
       
Coalition spokesman Colonel Wayne Marotto confirmed that 10 rockets hit the base at 7:20 am (0420 GMT), but did not provide details on any casualties. Iraqi security forces said they had found the platform from which 10 "Grad-type rockets" hit the Ain al-Assad base, saying there were "no notable casualties". Western security sources told AFP the rockets were Iranian-made Arash models, which are 122mm artillery rockets and heavier than those seen in similar attacks. In mid-February, rockets targeted US-led coalition troops in the Kurdish regional capital Arbil, killing two people. Days later, more rockets hit a US military contracting company working north of the capital and the US embassy in Baghdad.
Moon, Biden to talk climate on Earth Day
       
NATIONALPresident Moon Jae-in chairs a Cabinet meeting in Cheong Wa Dae, Tuesday. (Yonhap)South Korean President Moon Jae-in and US President Joe Biden will discuss climate change at a virtual Earth Day summit on April 22, in their first video conference since Biden took office, a local media outlet reported Wednesday. They had a phone conversation last month.“The US is driving the discussion on the agenda,” a Seoul official said, pointing out the US-hosted gathering will mark Washington’s return to the carbon-cutting commitment. The Biden administration said it would engage allies as much as possible to work out their differences.“We have yet to respond to the invitation. We’re working on it with the US,” Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kang Min-seok said.By Choi Si-young ( siyoungchoi@heraldcorp.com
US forces: Rockets hit airbase in Iraq hosting US troops
       
At least 10 rockets targeted a military base in western Iraq that hosts U.S.-led coalition troops on Wednesday, March 3, 2021, the coalition and the Iraqi military said. At least 10 rockets targeted a military base in western Iraq that hosts U.S.-led coalition troops on Wednesday, March 3, 2021, the coalition and the Iraqi military said. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser, File)BAGHDAD (AP) — At least 10 rockets targeted a military base in western Iraq that hosts U.S.-led coalition troops on Wednesday, the coalition and the Iraqi military said. An Iraqi military official said they had been found in the al-Baghdadi area of Anbar, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not permitted to brief media. U.S. troops in Iraq significantly decreased their presence in the country last year under the Trump administration.
New book claims Obama saw Biden’s White House run as ‘ageing politician having his last hurrah’
       
A new book has claimed that Joe Biden did not have the support of former president Barack Obama and won the November elections because coronavirus let him stay hidden. The book entitled “Lucky: How Joe Biden Barely Won the Presidency’’ says President Joe Biden’s camp got a chance to hide his weaknesses due to the coronavirus pandemic. Initial polls suggested the incumbent president was in a strong position in front of Mr Biden, who had two unsuccessful president runs behind him. Please enter your email address Please enter a valid email address Please enter a valid email address SIGN UP Thanks for signing up to the Inside Washington newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. Read our privacy notice Thanks for signing up to the Inside Washington newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent.
Police bolster security at US Capitol as QAnon theory claims Trump will become president March 4
       
“The most prominent and most vocal QAnon promoters are not on board with the March 4 date,” said Travis View, a QAnon researcher and host of the QAnon Anonymous podcast. A new conspiracy theory gains tractionThe March 4 theory began gaining traction after Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20, QAnon experts said. When Trump left office on that day, and when the military tribunals and mass arrests of Democrats predicted by QAnon followers didn’t happen, some adherents gave up on their unfounded theories. “QAnon is generally a pretty big tent conspiracy theory, where they’re not eager to shoot down the theories of their fellow believers,” View said. Trump reignited the claim that the election was rigged and hinted that he will run for president in four years.
Suns overcome Booker's ejection, hold off Lakers 114-104
       
Its report, released in the last days of the Trump administration, suggested that all Americans are “united by the glory of our history.” But history is messy. As a Bible scholar, I am struck by the ways the Bible tells both the good and bad of ancient Israel’s history – even when the narratives conflict. This movement, with its forced displacement of Native Americans and others, implicitly reenacted another part of the biblical narratives: Canaan as the land God gave ancient Israel. Different narratives The biblical writers also provide accounts of victories. They recount the good and bad of ancient Israel’s history, without resolution of the tension, discrepancies and unseemliness of past actions.
What's in a name for a vaccine campaign? Maybe the end of the pandemic
       
From my research, I have found that an important part of a successful vaccine campaign is in the name. Abandoning the ‘Operation Warp Speed’ nameIn the week leading up to the 2021 presidential inauguration, the Biden transition team announced that the White House’s national COVID-19 vaccine plan would no longer be called “Operation Warp Speed,” the name coined by Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump. In a May 15, 2020, press conference, Trump explained the campaign name, stating, “It’s called ‘Operation Warp Speed.’ That means big, and it means fast. For example, although polio vaccine trials in 1954 labeled the recruited child participants “polio pioneers,” the vaccine itself was called the “anti-polio” or Salk vaccine. The new campaign name, then, initiated what needs to be a straightforward, factual approach, integral to widespread COVID-19 immunization.
Neera Tanden is out as Biden's pick to lead budget office
       
Neera Tanden, who had been President Biden's nominee for director of the Office of Management and Budget, testifies before a Senate committee in February. The collapse of Tanden's nomination marked the administration's first defeat in filling a Cabinet post. Other Democrats supported Tanden's nomination, pointing to her history as a policy advisor to Presidents Clinton and Obama. After Manchin made his opposition public, two moderate Republicans who were considered among the most likely to support Tanden, Sens. He, Romney, Collins and Murkowski have supported every other Biden Cabinet post that has come up for a Senate vote.
White House Withdraws Neera Tanden As Budget Director Nominee
       
The White House withdrew its nomination of Neera Tanden, President Joe Biden’s pick to direct the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, on Tuesday after it became clear that she would lose a Senate confirmation vote. “I appreciate how hard you and your team at the White House has worked to win my confirmation,” she wrote to Biden. Susan Collins (Maine) and Mitt Romney (Utah), two moderate Republicans who have sometimes bucked GOP leaders, announced their opposition to Tanden’s confirmation on Feb. 22. The White House continued to publicly stand by Tanden, even as the prospects for her confirmation grew slimmer. It was clear for weeks, however, that the White House was already preparing contingency plans.
Khashoggi murder: Should Biden take a stronger stand?
       
What’s happeningU.S. intelligence agencies have determined that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the operation that led to the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, according to a report released by the Biden administration on Friday. Why there’s debateBiden has received heavy criticism for not directly punishing Crown Prince Mohammed, widely known as MBS. As the presumptive future ruler of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed could be a powerful figure in the Middle East for decades. Story continuesOthers argue that punishing the crown prince would cause more harm than good. Eventually moving toward ‘normality’ will mean either revolution in Saudi Arabia, or a less authoritarian government.
Myanmar coup crisis grows after years of US neglect
       
WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly a decade ago, the United States was touting Myanmar as an American success story. A coup has returned the military to power and pro-democracy activists, reform advocates and journalists have been attacked and detained in a brutal crackdown. Overtures to Iran and Cuba would come later, buoyed in part by what appeared to be success in Myanmar. Still, the Obama administration continued to have faith in her. Despite Kerry’s two trips to Myanmar, the administration became rapidly consumed with the Iran nuclear deal and normalization of ties with Cuba.
Parler sues Amazon again, alleging breach of contract, defamation
       
Social media company Parler filed a second lawsuit against Amazon and Amazon Web Services this week, alleging breach of contract and defamation. In late January, a judge ruled against Parler’s request to force Amazon to restore the company to its web hosting services. Amazon said Parler was “okay” regarding any “problematic” content just two days before it announced the company’s removal, the lawsuit alleged. Amazon Web Services had known Parler used a “reactive system to deal with problematic content – and not once had AWS said that such a system was insufficient or in violation of the parties’ contract," it said. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPIn the lawsuit, Parler claimed it was a victim of "Amazon’s efforts to destroy an up-and-coming technology company through deceptive, defamatory, anticompetitive, and bad faith conduct.”
Letters to the Editor — A golden calf, the STAAR test, the murder of Allen Brooks, vaccinations at Parkland, human rights, abortion
       
Nonetheless, the nagging sense lingered. The comparison to the Israelites worshipping the golden calf (Exodus, Chapter 32) while Moses was receiving the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai immediately came to mind. Perhaps these two news stories appearing a day apart is just a coincidence, but it does provide “food for thought.” Meanwhile, that nagging sense I have, irrational as it might be, still persists. should retake reins on human rights — America can reassert global leadership by fighting for release of those wrongfully detained abroad,” Sunday Editorials. This editorial encouraged the United States to take the lead on human rights.
Trump biographer compares him to Al Capone as prosecutors hone in on his finance chief
       
The Trump biographer explained that Mr Weisselberg, 73, is the same age as Mr Trump and he was also the accountant of Fred Trump, the former president’s father. There was no deal that went through the Trump organisation of significance that Allen Weisselberg didn’t look at. There was no financing arrangement he didn’t give his blessing to,” Mr O’Brien said. Please enter your email address Please enter a valid email address Please enter a valid email address SIGN UP Thanks for signing up to the Inside Washington newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. Read our privacy notice Thanks for signing up to the Inside Washington newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent.
US Catholic group tells followers to avoid Johnson & Johnson vaccine
       
The vaccine is touted as major step for it is the first single-dose vaccine to have been approved by the US authorities. The news wire agency, however, noted that the company did not dispute the contention that an abortion-derived cell line in the vaccine production. Please enter your email address Please enter a valid email address Please enter a valid email address SIGN UP Thanks for signing up to the News newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. Read our privacy notice Thanks for signing up to the News newsletter {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. In fact, one of the drugs that former president Donald Trump took during his treatment of coronavirus last October, was developed using human cells originally obtained from elective abortion.
Ronny Jackson 'said female staffer had "great t**s", and drank alcohol while White House physician'
       
Jackson slammed the report calling the allegations 'false and fabricated' and denied ever drinking alcohol while on duty as the White House doctor. The report also concluded there were at least two incidents where Jackson was drinking alcohol while on duty. On the Manila trip, one witness recalled seeing Jackson drinking in the hotel lobby almost immediately after arriving in Manila. It said the investigation was hampered by the Trump administration which insisted interviews with White House Medical Unit staff could only be conducted in the presence of White House counsel. Prior to working as the White House physician Jackson also worked in the White House medical unit under the George W. Bush administration.
Iraqi airbase hosting US troops is hit by multiple rockets
       
At least 10 rockets have hit a US airbase in Iraq in the latest in a series of attacks on American forces in the country. The rockets were fired at Ain al-Asad air base, in western Anbar province, on Tuesday from a launcher located about five miles from the base, sources said. Iran fired 15 Fateh-313 missiles at two US bases in Iraq during that attack: Ain al-Asad and another facility in Erbil. Ten of the rockets hit the US airbase and one landed at the Erbil facility while four failed in flight, American military sources said at the time. It is not yet clear who was behind Tuesday's rocket attack.
National security officials to testify on Jan. 6 mistakes
       
Federal national security officials are set to testify in the second Senate hearing about what went wrong on January 6, facing questions about missed intelligence and botched efforts to quickly gather National Guard troops that day as a violent mob laid siege to the U.S. Capitol. The officials at the hearing last week, including ousted Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, gave conflicting accounts of those negotiations. The hearing comes as thousands of National Guard troops are still patrolling the fenced-in Capitol and as multiple committees across Congress are launching investigations into mistakes made on January 6. As the Senate hears from the federal officials, acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman will testify before a House panel that is also looking into how security failed. He said he had quickly deployed his own officers and he was 'shocked' that the National Guard 'could not - or would not - do the same.'
Moon, Biden to talk climate on Earth Day
       
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and US President Joe Biden will discuss climate change at a virtual Earth Day summit on April 22, in their first video conference since Biden took office, a local media outlet reported Wednesday. They had a phone conversation last month.“The US is driving the discussion on the agenda,” a Seoul official said, pointing out the US-hosted gathering will mark Washington’s return to the carbon-cutting commitment. That meeting will discuss helping developing nations to use technologies for a green economic growth, the Seoul official said.Seoul and Washington are in close consultation over issues beyond climate change, the Seoul official added, saying the allies’ national security advisers are going over policy on North Korea, for instance. The Biden administration said it would engage allies as much as possible to work out their differences.“We have yet to respond to the invitation. We’re working on it with the US,” Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kang Min-seok said.By Choi Si-young ( siyoungchoi@heraldcorp.com
Biden removes mention of Dr. Seuss from Read Across America Day
       
President Biden removed mentions of Dr. Seuss from Read Across America Day amid accusations of “racial undertones” in the classic, whimsical tales for children. Read Across America Day, started by the National Educational Association in 1998 as a way to promote children’s reading, is even celebrated on the author’s March 2 birthday. But unlike his two predecessors, former Presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama, Biden did not mention Dr. Seuss. The move comes as Dr. Seuss’ work has generated controversy following a study highlighting a lack of diversity among the author’s characters. Last week, a Virginia school district ordered its teachers to avoid “connecting Read Across America Day with Dr. Seuss” because of recent research that allegedly “revealed strong racial undertones” in many of the author’s books.
Pentagon IG finds ex-Trump doctor Jackson made sexual comments, violated alcohol policy: CNN
       
The Department of Defense is preparing to release a blistering report detailing Rep. Ronny Jackson’s (R-Texas) time as the top White House physician during the Obama and Trump administrations. Neither the Pentagon’s inspector general nor Jackson immediately responded to requests for comment from The Hill. In a statement to CNN, Jackson panned the report as an attempt by Democrats to tarnish him. Jackson retired from the Navy in 2019 and won his Texas House seat last year. I've honorably served my country in the U.S. Navy, served patients who trusted me with their care, served three Presidents in the White House, and now I serve the people of Texas' 13th District in Congress.
US hits Russian officials with fresh sanctions over Navalny poisoning
       
The US has announced sanctions on seven Russian government officials and 13 Russian and European companies in response to the poisoning of the opposition leader Alexei Navalny, which a US intelligence assessment confirmed to be the work of the FSB. Senior administration officials described the measures taken, which are also a response to Navalny’s continued imprisonment, as catching up with sanctions imposed on Moscow by the EU in October while the Trump administration had largely turned a blind eye. “We are not seeking to escalate, we are not seeking to reset. Any property or dealings in the US will be frozen or blocked and foreigners holding transactions with them could also face sanctions. The commerce department announced a tightening of export controls on items potentially used to make chemical or biological weapons.
Van Jones and Meghan McCain’s Centrist Manifesto Doesn’t Have Answers
       
Back in 2011, Politico asked its readers to nominate and vote on independent candidates ahead of the upcoming presidential election. “The public has had it with Washington and conventional politics,” VandeHei and Allen began, continuing:It has lost trust and respect in the conventional governing class. Though independent presidential candidates rarely enjoy any success, there was definitely something to the general spirit of this statement. Which brings us to The Reunited States, a new documentary directed by Ben Rekhi and co-produced by CNN pundit Van Jones and daytime TV heel Meghan McCain that debuted earlier this month. Nevertheless, the disparate nature of its various plotlines and the relentless way it pummels the same bland idea render The Reunited States a decidedly less than enjoyable sit.
Joe Biden Is Following a Blueprint for Forever War
       
Last week, the U.S. military bombed a site near al-Hurri, along the Iraqi border inside Syria, where Iranian-backed Iraqi militias were allegedly stationed. The same can be said of the recent rocket attacks that provoked the Biden administration’s deadly response in Syria. Iraqi militias pose no danger to the people of Baltimore, Maryland or Little Rock, Arkansas, and Baghdad does not demand an American military presence. This is the tired playbook that Joe Biden has inherited and the one he seems intent on following, no matter how unsuccessful it’s been or how much chaos it has wrought. Anything less is a formula for forever war, ever more.
Why Fox News is having a day-long meltdown over Dr. Seuss
       
“The cancel culture is canceling Dr. Seuss,” lamented Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade, adding later, “It’s out of control.”“People are too scared,” echoed co-host Ainsley Earhardt. Before 9 am Tuesday, Dr. Seuss had been mentioned more than 30 times on Fox News and Fox Business. Instead, he was given an opportunity to complain at length about the fake cancellation of Dr. Seuss. “First they outlaw Dr. Seuss and now they want to tell us what to say,” he lied. Dr Seuss, he argues, “made these drawings with the fire of honest indignation and anger that fuels all real political art”.
QAnon Followers Believe Trump Will Be Inaugurated As U.S. President This Month
       
QAnon believers say any day in March the former President Donald Trump will be inaugurated as President once again. Donald Trump will not become President of the United States this month, just weeks after Joe Biden was inaugurated. Here’s why the QAnon faithful believe Trump will become President again this month. March 4The first major date that QAnon conspiracy theorists are looking forward to is right at the start of the month: March 4. Many QAnon believers think that the whole Biden presidency has been a work of fiction so far, with former President Trump still pulling the strings from behind.
QAnon followers believe Trump will be inaugurated as president this month
       
QAnon believers say any day in March the former President Donald Trump will be inaugurated as President once again. Donald Trump will not become President of the United States this month, just weeks after Joe Biden was inaugurated. Here’s why the QAnon faithful believe Trump will become President again this month. March 4The first major date that QAnon conspiracy theorists are looking forward to is right at the start of the month: March 4. Many QAnon believers think that the whole Biden presidency has been a work of fiction so far, with former President Trump still pulling the strings from behind.
QAnon followers believe Trump will be inaugurated as president this month
       
QAnon believers say any day in March the former President Donald Trump will be inaugurated as President once again. Donald Trump will not become President of the United States this month, just weeks after Joe Biden was inaugurated. Here’s why the QAnon faithful believe Trump will become President again this month. March 4The first major date that QAnon conspiracy theorists are looking forward to is right at the start of the month: March 4. Many QAnon believers think that the whole Biden presidency has been a work of fiction so far, with former President Trump still pulling the strings from behind.
This Billionaire Has Been Partying Through the Pandemic While His Company’s Workers Died
       
Ricardo Salinas Pliego has seen his net worth rise to $13.5 billion during the pandemic. But no matter the corporate name on his paycheck, his job stayed the same: calling Grupo Salinas clients to collect debts. Across Mexico, workers were suddenly faced with a decision last spring: pay their bills or protect their health? Other outsourced workers of Grupo Salinas kept getting sick and dying as the months went on. It’s like comparing a drop of water to the Atlantic Ocean.” Salinas Pliego continued to downplay the virus.
US Officials Are Deporting Haitian Immigrants Despite Knowing They May Face Danger
       
Department of Homeland Security officials acknowledged internally that deported Haitian immigrants “may face harm” upon returning to their home country due to violent crime and the political instability that has rocked the country in recent months, according to documents obtained by BuzzFeed News. The Biden administration has continued to use a Trump-era border policy to turn back immigrants at the border, including Haitians, much to the chagrin of advocates who point out that it effectively seals the border. Administration officials have repeatedly implored people not to come to the border, explaining that the laws will continue to be enforced. The report continues by detailing long-standing issues in Haiti, including violence related to economic security, housing shortages, and a lack of access to healthcare, water, and food. DHS officials have been particularly focused on the pockets of Haitian immigrants who have traveled to Mexico in an attempt to come to the US border.
US Capitol Police announce increased security, citing ‘concerning information’
       
US Capitol Police announced Tuesday that they were enhancing security measures this week around the Capitol building due to “concerning information” they have received. Capitol Police are also increasing security at three local airports and DC’s train stations in order to ensure safe travel for members of congress, according to a report in The Hill. The increased threat appears to stem from a Qanon-related conspiracy theory that former President Donald Trump will be re-inaugurated on March 4 — the day all presidential inaugurations were held on until 1933. Rumors about another attack on March 4 were also discussed at a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee last week. The cheapest rooms at the hotel are currently going for $1,331 those nights — nearly three times its average March rate.
Opinion: Biden is right about 'aliens'
       
And other statutes, like the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act passed in 1996, and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security following 9/11, hardened immigration laws and their enforcement. With the menacing "alien" firmly implanted in America's subconscious, it's not that much of a stretch to the idea of an "illegal alien" threatening its neighborhoods. It's clear that the use of stereotyping phrases like "illegal alien" does more harm than just hurt feelings. I mean they're very good workers... We're compassionate people, but for goodness sakes, we have to take care of American citizens, or people that are here legally, first." (Lesko later said that her remarks could be misinterpreted and that she meant that senior citizens should receive the vaccine before "illegal immigrants.")
Biden faces steep challenges to reach renewable energy goals
       
President Joe Biden wants to change the way the U.S. uses energy by expanding renewables, but faces several challenges. President Joe Biden wants to change the way the U.S. uses energy by expanding renewables, but faces several challenges. Disruption from the pandemic has cost the renewable energy industry, which relies heavily on labor, about 450,000 jobs. The wind power industry and clean energy advocates say the new administration can make the country an offshore wind power leader. “Justice for disadvantaged communities and welcoming legacy energy workers into the clean power workforce are vital aspects of the success of the clean energy transition,” said Heather Zichal, chief executive officer of the American Clean Power Association.
‘Completely insane’: Trump decision to get vaccine in secret criticised by CNN doctor
       
Trump decision to get vaccine in secret criticised by CNN doctor (REUTERS)Former President Donald Trump's decision to get vaccinated in secret at the White House in January to protect himself against Covid-19 after being infected with the virus in October was criticised by CNN Medical Analyst Dr Jonathan Reiner. The news that Mr Trump and former First Lady Melania Trump had both received the vaccine was first reported by The New York Times. Trump yesterday, at CPAC, said for the first time that "everyone" should get the coronavirus vaccine developed while he was in office. An adviser tells me both Trump and Melania Trump got vaccinated at the White House in January. Both President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris got vaccinated in public to boost confidence in the vaccines’ safety and effectiveness.
US sanctions Russia for poisoning Putin dissenter
       
The Biden administration announced sanctions of Russian officials and more than a dozen businesses Tuesday for a nearly fatal nerve-agent attack upon opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his subsequent jailing. (March 2)Video TranscriptJOE BIDEN: This is also how we're going to be able to meet the threat from Russia. But the Trump administration also imposed a large amount of sanctions on Russia. ANTHONY BLINKEN: The United States is ready to engage Russia in strategic stability discussions on arms control and emerging security issues. ANGELA STENT: The US is coordinating its policy toward Russia now much more with the Europeans.
Biden faces steep challenges to reach renewable energy goals
       
They have a new ally in the White House in Biden, who has set a goal of 100% renewable energy in the power sector by 2035. Disruption from the pandemic has cost the renewable energy industry, which relies heavily on labor, about 450,000 jobs. The pandemic has also made it more difficult to build wind and solar infrastructure and has redirected federal resources away from the energy sector. To reach Biden’s 100% renewable energy goal will require a massive buildout of grid infrastructure to get energy from the windy plains or offshore wind farms over long distances to cities where electricity is needed. About a sixth of today's U.S. electricity generation is from renewable sources, the U.S. Energy Information Administration has said.
'My pubic hair paintings could hang in your living room': the artists reclaiming women's sexuality
       
Exploring women’s sexual pleasure in words and images, says Weiss, felt like “an act of resistance. When New York-based artist Marilyn Minter went searching through art history for nude works that included women’s pubic hair, she could find just 10 paintings. In the early 2010s, she started a series of large, lush paintings zooming in on pubic triangles from “all colours, all races. (According to Minter, “women get off on looking at other women: what turns women on is being desired”.) After centuries of women’s bodies being observed by male artists, it is an immaculate reversal: Courbet’s L’Origine du Monde shoots back.
Biden expects enough vaccine supplies for all American adults by end of May
       
Important progress.”The arrangement, first reported by The Washington Post, comes just days after the Food and Drug Administration granted emergency authorization to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Both Trump and Biden administration officials had explored enlisting Merck’s help in manufacturing vaccines developed by either Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson. Under the new agreement, Merck will dedicate two of its facilities to production of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is the third to receive emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration — following Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech. And the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has some advantages: It requires only one shot, and studies show it may curb spread of the virus.
Universal Studios is 'evaluating' the future of 'If I Ran the Zoo' in wake of controversy
       
Amid the backlash, Universal Studios also revealed Tuesday it is 'evaluating' the future of a play area in Orlando theme park Islands of Adventure that is themed on the Dr. Seuss book 'If I Ran the Zoo'. Dr. Seuss Enterprises said it had made the decision after carrying out a review of its collection last year with the help of experts, including teachers. The study also said Seuss published anti-black and anti-Semitic cartoons in a magazine in the 1920s as well as racist anti-Japanese propaganda during World War II. The White House has not explained why Dr. Seuss was left out of this year's proclamation. Read Across America Day had traditionally featured on Dr. Seuss books including classics like The Cat in The Hat and The Grinch.
McEnany lays into Biden for not giving pressers and moans she was treated differently to Jen Psaki
       
'It's been 41 days - at this point, President Trump had had multiple press appearances, press conferences - President Barack Obama had as well. McEnany also attacked the media for giving her successor, Jen Psaki, easier treatment than had been meted out to her. Hannity asked whether McEnany felt that questions should be asked about women who have accused Biden of inappropriate behavior, such as Tara Reid. Former press secretary Kayleigh McEnany announced she was joining Fox on TuesdayThe Florida-born Harvard Law graduate praised Psaki, however, for her willingness to appear on Fox, which she did at the weekend. Psaki on Tuesday wished McEnany well in her new gig and said she'd be willing to on the network with her predecessor.
Alex Jones says he's 'so f**king sick' of Donald Trump in leaked video from 2019
       
God, I'm f**king sick of him,' Jones says at the start of the video released Tuesday. 'Part of me - the selfish part - wishes that I'd never met Donald Trump, wishes that I'd never met Roger Stone,' he says. That I wish I never would have f**king met Trump,' Jones says later in the footage. 'I'm so sick of f**king Donald Trump, man. God, I'm f**king sick of him.
S. Korea, US to hold defense cost-sharing talks in Washington this week
       
Jeong Eun-bo, South Korea's top negotiator in defense cost-sharing talks with the United States, holds video talks with his US counterpart, Donna Welton, at the foreign ministry in Seoul on Feb. 5, 2021, in this photo provided by the ministry. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)South Korea and the United States will hold a new round of talks in Washington later this week on the sharing of the cost for stationing the US Forces Korea (USFK), the foreign ministry said Wednesday, amid expectations the two sides are close to a deal. "Through this, we will work to contribute to strengthening the South Korea-US alliance and the combined defense posture," it added. But they failed to strike a deal amid the former Donald Trump administration's calls for a hefty increase in Seoul's payments. Washington had asked the ally to pay $1.3 billion a year, an increase of about 50 percent from the last deal.
From confidence to a distraction: Inside Biden's failed push for Neera Tanden
       
The slow collapse, drawn out over weeks, came to a conclusion late Tuesday, when the White House announced Tanden had withdrawn her nomination to avoid further distraction. Spending political capitalManchin's skepticism opened the door to more, but the White House insisted it wasn't over for Tanden yet. One official said the White House wanted to demonstrate it would fight for its nominees , even though many inside the building acknowledged Tanden's nomination was likely doomed. On Wednesday last week, the two committees that had been scheduled to hold votes on Tanden's nomination abruptly delayed them. In trouble from the startIt wasn't how Biden, Tanden or Klain had envisioned things going three months ago.
Tanden withdraws as budget nominee in Biden’s first Cabinet defeat
       
“I have the utmost respect for her record of accomplishment, her experience and her counsel, and I look forward to having her serve in a role in my administration,” Biden said in a statement. ADIn recent days, attention had largely turned to Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who has been weighing whether to support Tanden and met with the nominee earlier this week. Tanden had the endorsement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and powerful labor unions such as the Communications Workers of America. ADFirst-term presidents typically face defeat on at least one Cabinet post as they staff up their administration, and Biden was no exception. ADJust hours before the White House pulled Tanden’s nomination, Young appeared before the Senate Budget Committee, where she won praise from Democrats and Republicans.
US sanctions Russian officials over nerve-agent attack
       
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was transported to a prison 100km away from Moscow. Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was transported to a prison 100km away from Moscow. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)The Biden administration sanctioned seven mid-level and senior Russian officials on Tuesday, along with more than a dozen government entities, over a nearly fatal nerve-agent attack on opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his subsequent jailing. The administration coordinated the sanctions with the European Union, which added to its own sanctions Tuesday over the attack on Navalny. Authorities have transferred the opposition leader to a penal colony to begin serving a sentence, after what rights groups said was a show trial.
U.S. gets 'C-,' faces $2.59 trillion in infrastructure needs over 10 years: report
       
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States faces a $2.59 trillion shortfall in infrastructure needs that requires a massive jump in government spending to address crumbling roads, bridges and other programs, according to an assessment by an engineers group issued on Wednesday. The biggest projected gap is in surface transportation, which faces $1.2 trillion in projected unmet needs over 10 years, while water systems face $434 billion and schools $380 billion in funding gaps. It remains unclear how Biden or Congress will fund new infrastructure spending. The report praised state and local governments for boosting infrastructure spending. Since 2010, 37 U.S. states raised gas taxes to fund transportation and U.S. voters approved 98% of local infrastructure ballot initiatives in November.
Biden’s Cabinet half-empty after slow start in confirmations
       
Also pictured is Secretary of State Antony Blinken, second from right, and White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan, third from right. Also pictured is Secretary of State Antony Blinken, second from right, and White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan, third from right. Among Biden’s 23 nominees with Cabinet rank, just 13 have been confirmed by the Senate, or a little over half. That must change.”The Biden administration has prioritized confirming those nominees who are key to national security, the economy and public health decisions. The Biden administration has not been completely hamstrung by the slow pace of confirmations, however.
National security officials to testify on Jan. 6 mistakes
       
FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 2, 2021. Wray is condemning the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol as “domestic terrorism.” (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal national security officials are set to testify in the second Senate hearing about what went wrong on Jan. 6, facing questions about missed intelligence and botched efforts to quickly gather National Guard troops that day as a violent mob laid siege to the U.S. Capitol. The officials at the hearing last week, including ousted Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, gave conflicting accounts of those negotiations. The hearing comes as thousands of National Guard troops are still patrolling the fenced-in Capitol and as multiple committees across Congress are launching investigations into mistakes made on Jan. 6. ADVERTISEMENTAs the Senate hears from the federal officials, acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman will testify before a House panel that is also looking into how security failed.
Trump’s cash plea could complicate GOP fundraising efforts
       
“President Trump’s Legacy is in your hands,” another pleaded. Before making his money pitch on Sunday, Trump’s team quietly updated its fundraising filings. Money raised through Trump’s website now goes to Save America JFC, a joint fundraising agreement between the two. Regardless of Trump’s next move, the GOP is unlikely to remove him from its sales pitch anytime soon. “Our digital fundraising strategy is simple: raise as much money as possible,” said Andrew Romeo, a spokesman for the RSLC.
Biden brings no relief to tensions between US and China
       
In this Feb. 27, 2021, photo, President Joe Biden speaks on the economy in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. Biden took office promising to move quickly to restore and repair America’s relations with the rest of the world. Biden took office promising to move quickly to restore and repair America’s relations with the rest of the world. From Iran to Russia, Europe to Latin America, Biden has sought to cool tensions that rose during President Donald Trump’s four years in office. “There has been huge deviation between what they believe China is and what China really is,” Yu said.
Analysis: Biden aims to manage expectations with pandemic
       
President Joe Biden speaks about efforts to combat COVID-19, in the State Dining Room of the White House, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden doesn’t just have to manage the coronavirus pandemic, he also has to manage people’s expectations for how soon the country will come out of it. The Biden administration has been moving to scale up capacity to administer vaccines at an ever-faster clip. In his first days in office, Biden had promised enough vaccine for all adults by the end of summer. Trump tried to win news cycles; Biden has been trying to win elections.”While Tuesday’s optimistic announcement about the vaccine supply sent hopes soaring, it also raised pressure on the Biden administration to actually get them administered to Americans.
Top US general in the Middle East says troops were evacuated at just the right moment before a ballistic missile attack so Iran wouldn't know they left
       
Associated PressA top US general says troops were evacuated at just the right moment before an Iranian missile attack last year. The US military planned its movements on Iran's collection of commercial satellite images, the general indicated on "60 Minutes." An expert who relies on commercial satellite imagery for research questioned the general's account. The US military says that Iran was collecting commercial satellite imagery of the airbase to monitor US activity the day of the attack, Martin reported. In Iranian briefings after the attack, Iran showed photos of the base from before the attack, but the satellite images were at least 11 days old.
The nefarious issue that tanked Biden Cabinet nominee Neera Tanden
       
Tanden's confirmation failure makes her the first of President Joe Biden's picks to be disqualified. It's no coincidence that she also happens to be an Asian American woman. It's time for us to name the implicit biases and assumptions that Asian Americans face so we can be judged from a place of consciousness. Is Tanden more "mean" than other appointees, or are we offended by Asian American women who are assertive and want to lead? As many Asian Americans have learned over time, you're only the model minority until someone else decides you aren't.
U.S. Senate confirms Raimondo to head Commerce Department
       
By David ShepardsonWASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate voted 84-15 on Tuesday to confirm Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo to head the U.S. Commerce Department, the agency that repeatedly sparred with China during the prior administration. Raimondo, a Democrat tapped by President Joe Biden, will oversee the Commerce Department and its bureaus, which have about 46,000 employees. The department includes the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Census, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service and the Foreign Commercial Service. At her confirmation hearing, Raimondo vowed to protect U.S. telecommunications networks from Chinese companies. In written responses to lawmakers, Raimondo said she had "no reason to believe" that the listed Chinese companies should not be.
LETTER: Do moderate Democrats really want to support the hard left?
       
President Biden and the far left have gone too far, and the people of this nation must make their voices heard to stop the destruction of our country. Do not sit back and simply watch them tear us apart. Do you agree with all the changes President Biden and the far left are making to our great nation? Or did you simply vote to remove Donald Trump from office? President Biden and the far left have gone too far (much further than most moderate Democrats imagined), and the people of this nation must make their voices heard to stop the destruction of our country.
Israeli-owned cargo ship back at sea after suspected attack
       
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An Israeli-owned cargo ship that suffered a mysterious explosion last week has left Dubai’s port and was transiting the Gulf of Oman on Wednesday, satellite tracking data showed. The suspected attack has raised tensions in the region. The giant MV Helios Ray, a Bahamian-flagged roll-on, roll-off vehicle cargo ship, was sailing along the Omani coast toward the Arabian Sea, according to satellite-tracking data from website MarineTraffic.com, days after docking in Dubai for repairs. Last week, a blast struck the cargo ship in the same waterway, raising alarms about ship security in the Mideast. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Israel’s regional foe Iran of attacking the ship.
Analysis: Biden aims to manage expectations with pandemic
       
.......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden doesn’t just have to manage the coronavirus pandemic, he also has to manage people’s expectations for how soon the country will come out of it. The Biden administration has been moving to scale up capacity to administer vaccines at an ever-faster clip. In his first days in office, Biden had promised enough vaccine for all adults by the end of summer. “Unlike his predecessor, who frequently established goals he could not meet, Biden has tried to set modest expectation and then beat them. Trump tried to win news cycles; Biden has been trying to win elections.”While Tuesday’s optimistic announcement about the vaccine supply sent hopes soaring, it also raised pressure on the Biden administration to actually get them administered to Americans.
Biden’s Cabinet half-empty after slow start in confirmations
       
Among Biden’s 23 nominees with Cabinet rank, just 13 have been confirmed by the Senate, or a little over half. And among the 15 core nominees to lead federal agencies, 10 have been confirmed, or about two thirds. That must change.”The Biden administration has prioritized confirming those nominees who are key to national security, the economy and public health decisions. The Biden administration has not been completely hamstrung by the slow pace of confirmations, however. And Stier noted that the Biden administration has installed hundreds of non-Senate-confirmed staff across the federal government, helping to provide guidance even without department heads in place.
Alexei Navalny: US sanctions Russian officials over nerve-agent attack
       
The Biden administration sanctioned seven mid-level and senior Russian officials on Tuesday, along with more than a dozen government entities, over a nearly fatal nerve-agent attack on opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his subsequent jailing. The administration coordinated the sanctions with the European Union, which added to its own sanctions Tuesday over the attack on Navalny. 'Way too little'The Biden administration had forecast for weeks that it would take action against Russia. Navalny, 44, was sickened by the Russian nerve agent in an attack that the United States and others linked to Putin’s security services. Working with U.S. allies, “we must use an array of tools, including sanctions, to meaningfully deter, repel, and punish Moscow’s transgressions,” Schiff said in a statement.
Biden urges patience on Covid as Republican governors go rogue on reopenings
       
But experts are warning that opening too quickly could provide the vast petri dish that new variants of Covid-19 need to thrive. The Republicans are not the only governors easing restrictions as new cases of Covid-19 and deaths from the virus have fallen following a holiday spike. "We certainly understand the pressure governors are under and we appreciate the working relationship we have with Gov. Abbott," Andy Slavitt, senior adviser to the White House Covid-19 response team, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. Tens of millions of Americans are hurting financially, have been stuck at home for months and separated from their families.
House Oversight Committee subpoenas Trump's accounting firm Mazars again
       
(CNN) The House Oversight Committee has issued a new subpoena to accounting firm Mazars USA for a wide swath of records related to former President Donald Trump, which would likely include the ex-President's tax returns . The millions of pages of documents, sources say, contain Trump's tax returns spanning from January 2011 to August 2019, as well as financial statements, engagement agreements, documents relating to the preparation and review of tax returns, and work papers and communications related to the tax returns. That includes documents concerning Trump himself, his trust, the Trump Foundation, the Trump Organization and several holding companies. Mazars has hung back from taking sides in the court fights between Trump and the House over subpoenaed records. The Oversight Committee and Trump's lawyers have proposed that a federal judge in Washington, Amit Mehta, schedule to resolve the case no earlier than June.
Biden health pick taking heat for support of abortion rights
       
President Joe Biden’s pick for health secretary is taking heat for his defense of abortion rights from a tag team of Republicans looking to define him —and the new administration— as out of the mainstream. President Joe Biden’s pick for health secretary is taking heat for his defense of abortion rights from a tag team of Republicans looking to define him —and the new administration— as out of the mainstream. (Greg Nash/Pool via AP)WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s pick for health secretary is taking heat from Republicans for his actions in support of abortion rights. It’s a test, too, for national groups opposed to abortion, trying to deny a president who favors abortion rights his choice to run the Department of Health and Human Services. She disagrees with his support for abortion rights, but finds common ground elsewhere.
Experts Say J&J-Merck Deal—Though Welcome Step—Does Not Get to 'Heart of the Matter' on Vaccine Apartheid
       
"But President Biden can still scale up production to meet global demand by using existing authorities." Better yet, @JoeBiden should encourage US vaccine companies to transfer their technology to LMICs. —Peter Maybarduk, Public Citizen"This technology should not be the property of these giant corporations," he said. "In fact, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a perfect candidate to be a people's vaccine," Dearden continued. "It promises to work well across the world, it's one-shot, and it was developed with huge amounts of public funding."
OPINION: Western Sahara, Africa’s Last Colony, Resumes Liberation Struggle
       
As expected, Morocco’s breach of the ceasefire forced the people of Western Sahara under the leadership of their legitimate representative, the Frente POLISARIO, to resume their legitimate liberation struggle put on hold since 1991. The proclamation made by the outgoing U.S. president in December has dealt another heavy blow to the UN peace process in Western Sahara. The ICJ ruled that there was no tie of territorial sovereignty between the Territory of Western Sahara and the kingdom of Morocco. As a matter of historical fact, Morocco did not only claim Western Sahara but also Mauritania in 1960s. The legal and political nature of the issue of Western Sahara as a decolonization case is unquestionably clear.
Pathological Liar Kayleigh McEnany Says She Was SHOCKED By the Violent Insurrection In Her FOX Debut
       
On Tuesday morning the newest member of the Fox News family made her debut on the conservative propaganda network. Former Donald Trump Press Secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, sat for an interview with Fox's Harris Faulkner. The segment was as jam-packed with the lies and worshipful adoration that was typical of her many prior appearances on Fox News and her infrequent, always hostile, White House press briefings. and it was a very hard, difficult day in the White House, there was no doubt. For the record, McEnany is contradicting Trump, who now says that he requested 10,000 National Guard troops prior to the rally.
Don’t let the insurrectionists & enablers hide; call them out at every opportunity.
       
Democrats and Progressive must continue to ensure that the insurrectionists and enablers remain exposed. Don’t let insurrectionists hidePolitics Done Right Live weekdays @ 3:00 PM CentralVideo Zoom: LINK — Live Calls: (346)248-7799 ID:254 0 9091Republican Senator who voted to convict Trump threw him further under the bus implying he’s a loser. Every Democrat must use these selective words about the insurrection enablers this Congressman used. Is GOP Senator implying a large number of Republican COVID Relief Bil supporters are freeloaders? Please join our YouTube channel to get the numbers up to open up some more features and reach more folks.
Kagro in the Morning podcast (AUDIO): Tuesday, March 2 2021
       
David Waldman and Joan McCarter deliver Tuesday’s KITM as well as you’d expect. Liberal Thinking is always welcome on KITM, especially when personified by the blogger of that name (and also the name of Rich). Dems have avoided disarray for a while now, but that will soon become tougher once the COVID relief bill passes. Also hanging by a thread, the remains of the Voting Rights Act, and the voting rights of minority voters. In Idaho, the Committee to Protect and Preserve the Idaho Constitution battle lawyers paid by the Idaho Constitutional Defense Fund.
Who really owns the whip hand?
       
The realityWho Really Owns The Whip Hand? The Republican Party eliminated the Fairness Doctrine in 1987 under Reagan, immediately giving birth to the hate-talker industry, which, in turn, poisoned the minds of a significant number of Americans since then. The bird in hand is eliminating the filibuster, and the GOP schism is the 2 birds in the bush. At the end of the day, that is a very large part of the whip hand. Unless we react, and react now, we'll all be Sieg Heil'ing our new master, who will have that whip in his hand, and we will have given it to him.
Tomgram: Mandy Smithberger, More Money for the Pentagon in the Pandemic Moment?
       
And yet, strangely enough, as TomDispatch regular and Pentagon expert Mandy Smithberger reports, Washington, in a remarkably bipartisan fashion, continues to fund the Pentagon at levels that should astound us all. But studies have consistently shown that military spending is a remarkably poor job creator compared to almost any other kind of spending. Investing in healthcare, combating climate change, or rebuilding infrastructure are all significantly more effective job creators than yet more military spending. Still, there’s no question that non-military stimulus efforts are more effective, by orders of magnitude, than defense spending when it comes to job creation. Make no mistake: the addiction to Pentagon spending is a bipartisan problem in Washington.
Biden: U.S. will have enough vaccine to inoculate entire adult population by May 31
       
The President added that the Trump administration had failed to secure enough doses of FDA-authorized vaccines to cover the country’s population at all. The Trump administration passed up an opportunity from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer to order millions of additional doses. [...] “The prior administration had (contracted) for not nearly enough vaccine to cover all the adults in America,” Biden said. In fact, prior to their ignominious departure, Trump administration officials actively lobbied to deny individual states the wherewithal to distribute the vaccine. The push, described to STAT by congressional aides in both parties and openly acknowledged by one of the Trump officials, came from multiple high-ranking Trump health officials in repeated meetings with legislators.
The Democrat's problem of Andrew Cuomo, Agonistes
       
Embattled New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is under fire for his handling of the NY response to the coronavirus and for several troubling encounters with women. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has become the center of controversy that threatens him and his career in ways that would have seemed highly unlikely only a few months ago. Disclaimer: I worked for New York State for 40 years as a low-level state employee. You may be a state employee, but you work for the people of New York State through him at his pleasure. The accusations became serious when it was found the Cuomo administration had undercounted thousands of nursing home deaths through the way the deaths were categorized.
"Cancel Culture" is a right-wing pity party ruse intended to silence criticism of their crazy
       
"Both former Presidents Trump and Obama mentioned Dr. Seuss in their Read Across America Day proclamations, but President Biden did not. Lets recall that it was Leviticus and Paul who issued his decrees against being Gay. That's a great question because Paul could have used many words if he intended to blast gays and lesbians. Yet Paul used none of those available words, choosing instead to coin an interesting new word, arsenokoitai. That’s capitalism, that’s the “free market.”There is no debate to be had here.
PRESIDENT-JOE-BIDEN-Day41-Evening-Shade-Tuesday
       
xCOONS: Has there been any evidence the riot was organized by people simply posing as Trump supporters? WRAY: "We have not seen any evidence of that." COONS: Is there any evidence it was carried out by Antifa or BLM? WRAY: "We have not seen any evidence to that effect."
Biden Day Forty-one: First One Hundred Days
       
FBI’s Christopher Wray testifies at Hearing but fails to answer why the information of an impending attack was not forwarded to appropriate parties to call National Guard. Sheldon Whitehouse D RI only Senator who grilled Wray who fiddled with answers. Wray called attack domestic terrorism. Wray is saying we did warn you to the agencies who were denied National Guard. Domestic terrorism core.
Sean Hannity Trolls a Year Old Comment By Dr. Fauci, Ignores His Own Idiocy
       
The degree to which Hannity advanced these lies resulted in a study that confirmed that higher rates of coronavirus deaths could be directly linked to watching Hannity. On Tuesday Hannity thought he would post another of his attempts to "own the libs" by plucking a year old comment by Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, completely out of context. Hannity tweeted that...x ONE YEAR AGO: Fauci Tells Americans ‘There’s No Need to Change’ Their Daily Routines https://t.co/MAprokzfBQ — Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) March 1, 2021Of course, Hannity was demonstrating his notorious dishonesty and compulsion to distort reality. x Dr. Anthony Fauci of the NIH on coronavirus: "There is no need to change anything you're doing on a day by day basis. Hannity, on the other hand, ignores facts in favor of fallacies that advance his self-serving agenda and benefit his political idols.
FBI Director Wray denies that 'fake Trump protesters' were involved in Jan. 6 assault on Capitol
       
As might be expected, several of the Senators’ questions came back to the FBI report that was issued on the evening of Jan. 5, but which Capitol Police claimed never reached leadership. However, Wray continued to insist the information was handled property and if anything, suggested the FBI might have been better off not saying anything. Wray said he had seen no evidence of antifa, or any other leftist involvement, in the events of Jan. 6. x Sen. Whitehouse accuses FBI Director Wray of giving politically sensitive info to GOP while withholding answers from Democrats for years"You've been asked questions for the record. Are they going to go into the same hole where questions for the record go to die at the FBI?"
Night Owl Open Thread
       
On Feb. 25th Meteor Blades announced that the Night Owl was going to stop being published, I decided to do it for a few days & get the people who used the Open Thread to move to Overnight News Digest. x The winter was exceptionally warm for parts of Canada, Greenland and some of the high Arctic. THREAD pic.twitter.com/VePk7o94Lk — Scott Duncan (@ScottDuncanWX) March 2, 2021x Our daily update is published. He "treated everyone he met like family & his family meant everything to him. pic.twitter.com/wIuQMylYxb — FacesOfCOVID (@FacesOfCOVID) March 3, 2021x Three weeks ago, I announced we would have enough vaccine supply for all Americans by the end of July.
geolocating vote suppression: AZ GQP wants to nullify your ballot because you're in the wrong place
       
Your otherwise legal ballot in AZ could be nullified because the GOP needs to stop you from voting for Democrats. In voting rights case, Justice Barrett asks GOP lawyer Michael Carvin “what’s the interest” to Republicans in keeping voting restrictions in AZ. But, under the state GOP’s framework, this hypothetical law would not violate the Voting Rights Act because it merely regulates the “where” of voting. But Brnovich’s two-step test would also severely weaken the Voting Rights Act. And Native American, Hispanic, and African American voters were twice as likely to vote in the wrong precinct as white voters.
bankrupt Trumpism's hallucinatory anti-leftism arrives as a 20th Amendment solution on March 4
       
“Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself” Franklin D. Roosevelt, Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933Before 1937, inaugural day wasn’t until March 4. Back in the day we would’ve been facing 6 more weeks of Trump. Going big on the economy and infrastructure could deal a crippling blow to authoritarian populism just as it devolves into a QAnon-ified Trump cult. New piece:https://t.co/WKVJKl1HBP — Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) March 2, 2021 This quote from Ron DeSantis perfectly captures the bankruptcy of Trumpism's hallucinatory anti-leftism:“We can have academic debates about conservative policy. Last night he took the more famous VC-25 for the longer trip to Wisconsin.
Fox News asks Jen Psaki about President Biden's outrageous disregard for Dr. Seuss
       
x A Fox News reporter asked Jen Psaki today about why Biden didn't mention Dr. Seuss in his statement about Read Across America Day. Why not?” JEN PSAKI: “Words, words words … [translation: what the fuck is this nitwit talking about, and who the fuck cares?] … words words words.” REPORTER: “So does the omission have anything to do with the controversy about the lack of diverse characters in the author’s books?”And … scene. In her answer, Jen Psaki noted that the Department of Education actually wrote the statement, and … yeah, who the fuck cares? It was Dr. Seuss Enterprises, which was founded by the Seuss family, that pulled the plug on several of the author’s titles.
Neera Tanden Withdraws From Consideration as OMB Director (Update)
       
Neera TandenNeera Tanden, President Joe Biden’s pick to head the Office of Management and Budget, has withdrawn herself from consideration after her confirmation collapsed in the Senate. In an evenly divided Senate, Tanden’s nomination first ran into problems when Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia announced last month that he would not support her confirmation. Earlier Tuesday, the Senate held a confirmation hearing for Shalanda Young to be the OMB’s deputy director. These Trump appointees apologized and their apologies were accepted by virtually all Republicans and a lot of Democrats, Kaine said. Tanden would have been the first woman of color and first South Asian person to lead the OMB.
These 16 House districts are the only ones that split their tickets for House and president in 2020
       
This decline in ticket splitting has major implications for the way House elections work. These 16 crossover districts now represent some of the most obvious targets for each party as they attempt to gain seats in the next election, though redistricting will scramble the picture in some cases. Furthermore, it makes gerrymanders more potent and easier to draw when voters reliably back the same party for House as they do for president. Demographically, these crossover districts share some commonalities. You can find the election results for House and president for every district in our 117th Congress guide spreadsheet, along with a whole host of other demographic statistics on both the districts and the members who represent them.
Live on The Brief: Mississippi, believe it or not, should be a purple state
       
Mississippi Democrat Mike EspyAfter a decade of hyping up Georgia and its status as a demographically purple state, the state finally came through this past election cycle, giving its Electoral College votes to Joe Biden and electing two Democratic senators. But I have another state identified on my long-range scanners, one that is obvious to painfully few others, but should demographically be a purple state—Mississippi. Only about 10% of Mississippi whites vote Democratic; they are a solid, monolithic, and racist conservative vote. But it doesn’t have to be that way, just like we saw in formerly solid Republican states like Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, and Virginia. That said, it really is demographically purple.
A teacher in Washington was investigated for being affiliated with the Proud Boys
       
Following the Bethel investigation, Fisher wrote a letter calling the allegations false and claiming that they were spread by antifa. While the Proud Boys have been around for over five years, the group began gaining further national attention after Donald Trump mentioned the hate group during a presidential debate in 2020. Instead of denouncing white supremacy as he was asked to do, Trump gave the group orders: “Proud Boys: Stand back and stand by,” he said. Following the Capitol riots on Jan. 6, multiple people including group members have been charged with involvement. But despite the number of those who get charged and are deemed associated with this hate group, the ideology still exists.
Arizona Republicans send a silent, clear message after lawmaker speaks at white nationalist event
       
Michigan Republican Party co-chair Meshawn Maddock was one of the organizers of an April event in which armed militia members tried to enter the floor of the state Senate. She also helped send 19 buses full of Trump supporters to Washington, D.C., for Jan. 6. Then again, this is Donald Trump’s party, and in his own CPAC appearance, Trump vowed to purge the party of anyone who dares to stand against him. And that is inextricably tied to Trump’s white supremacist agenda. How completely can Trump remake the Republican Party in his own image after costing it the House, the Senate, and the White House?
Ghislaine Maxwell: Epstein had videos of Trump and Clinton
       
El FBI detiene a la exnovia de Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell La mujer, prfuga de la justicia desde hace un ao, esta' acusada de facilitar el contacto con menores de su pareja fallecida(Image by rupertomiller@hotmail. 6672 6121 hijo 66852945 from flickr) Details DMCAGhislaine Maxwell reportedly told a journalist that Jeffrey Epstein recorded tapes of former presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, who were former acquaintances of the disgraced sex offender. Ms Maxwell, who awaits trial on charges she assisted Epstein’s crimes in the 1990s, reportedly told a CBS “60 minutes” producer that she would not release tapes of Mr Trump without those of Mr Clinton before the 2016 presidential election. Maxwell reportedly said: “I am the daughter of a press baron. If you get the tapes on Trump you have to do Clinton'.'
Tomgram: Mandy Smithberger, More Money for the Pentagon in the Pandemic Moment?
       
There's a figure you might think should cause a genuine stir (especially since each of those was a taxpayer dollar). They would be responsible for the deaths of thousands of American military personnel and hundreds of thousands of civilians in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. Today, Crawford's figure would, of course, have to be updated as we await Joe Biden's decisions on future American war-making from Afghanistan to Iraq and beyond. And yet, strangely enough, as TomDispatch regular and Pentagon expert Mandy Smithberger reports, Washington, in a remarkably bipartisan fashion, continues to fund the Pentagon at levels that should astound us all. But those urging us to increase Pentagon spending to compete with China in the middle of a pandemic are, in reality, only compounding the damage to our country's recovery.
A "Masculine Spring" is On Its Way
       
(This article is co-written with Dr. Ed Adams, co-author of Reinventing Masculinity: The Liberating Power of Compassion and Connection)"Contact with nature." by Juan Calderón A. is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0Evidence shown during the impeachment trial last month was chilling. Members of the mostly male mob stomping through the Capitol building last month were out for blood. The insurrectionists' hero, would-be strongman Donald Trump, was acquitted in his second impeachment trial, thanks to mostly male Republican Senators. It's not an exaggeration to say that a "masculine spring" is on the horizon--one that promises a brighter future for our families, our workplaces, our country and our world.
Joe Manchin, Worth $7.6 Million, Wants to Cut Unemployment Checks by $100 a Week
       
Manchin joined a group of centrist Democrats who said that they’re going to push for less aid in the upcoming $1.9 trillion stimulus package. The bill currently includes $400 unemployment checks per week through August, which is already a cut from the CARES Act from last year that gave unemployed people $600 checks a week. Many economists have also roundly rejected the idea that the extra unemployment checks discourage people from finding work. If the idea of the stimulus package is to stimulate economic activity, the unemployment checks also help with that. As Bivens also notes, unemployment benefits are very efficient in increasing household spending.
Co-organizer of walkout in suburban Philly school district explains opposition of parents and teachers to school reopenings
       
As local Democrats move forward with reopening the School District of Philadelphia, opposition continues to build among teachers and parents. In the Philly suburb of Downingtown, parents and teachers have organized a walkout today to protest the reopening of the Downington Area School District, which covers 12,000 students. We don’t understand why the school district hasn’t put more money into virtual learning.”“The people who want us open are COVID deniers. “The parents sending kids in were under the impression that the school district was following guidelines,” Tara said. “The Philadelphia [School District] is absurdly requiring teachers to enter unsafe buildings that have been long left to deteriorate prior to the pandemic.
In first meeting with Biden, Mexico’s AMLO reaffirms allegiance to Washington
       
US President Joe Biden held his first full meeting with his Mexican counterpart Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) via videoconference on Monday. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in Mexico City, Friday, April 3, 2020. “Poor Mexico, so far from God and so close to the United States,” Díaz supposedly said. Public schools remain closed in Mexico, but pressures are growing for their reopening, which is well underway in the United States and represents a core policy for the Biden administration. Instead, his response was to condemn the blocking of Trump’s social media accounts, which were being used in the fascist conspiracy.
Former French president Nicholas Sarkozy sentenced to one year in prison
       
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was sentenced yesterday to three years in prison, with two years suspended, for corruption and influence peddling in the so-called “wiretapping” affair. The revelation of criminal actions by the highest representative of the French state is a further blow to the legitimacy of the entire political regime. Sarkozy had sought to bribe a magistrate to suppress the fallout from the Bettencourt affair, named after the billionaire Bettencourt family with a fascist past. The affair exposed the family’s financing of large portions of the French political establishment, and implicated the entire state apparatus. Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy arrives at the courtroom Monday, March 1, 2021 in Paris.
Chris Hayes Mocks Ted Cruz For Showing Up To Hearing 'In A Hot Dog Suit'
       
That, Hayes said, reminded him of the guy in the hot dog suit from the Netflix show “I Think You Should Leave.”In the skit, a hot dog car crashes into a store. When the dust settles, the driver is gone and the people inside wonder who did it ? only to find a guy in a hot dog suit has appeared among them, acting just as angry. “Yeah, c’mon, whoever did this just confess,” the hot dog man yells. “We promise we won’t be mad!”Cruz was much like the guy in the hot dog suit, clearly responsible but pretending to demand answers just like everyone else. Here’s the original hot dog sketch for comparison:
Former Parler CEO Matze Stripped Of All Company Shares Upon Firing, Sources Say
       
In the aftermath of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, Amazon Web Services, which served as Parler's web host, knocked it offline, saying it did too little to stop the spread of violent messages. Parler is a right-wing-friendly alternative to Twitter founded in 2018 by Matze and Jared Thomson in Henderson, Nevada. A disclosure filed in January as part of Parler's federal suit with Amazon Web Services listed Matze and Mercer as company members. People familiar with Parler say after Matze's ouster, Mercer has assumed a greater role in shaping the next chapter of the alternative social network. Yet those with knowledge say she had mostly stayed out of company decisions and discussions while Matze was at the helm.
Nigeria's Okonjo-Iweala prepared for task of reviving WTO
       
By Emma FargeGENEVA (Reuters) - The World Trade Organization's (WTO) first female and first African director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala started work on Monday, ending a six-month leadership void as she aims to revive the global trade watchdog ahead of a major year-end meeting. I am coming into one of the most important institutions in the world and we have a lot of work to do. I feel ready to go," Okonjo-Iweala told a reporter on arrival at the WTO's lakeside Geneva headquarters where she donned a mask and elbow-bumped officials. But we are hopeful," she said, speaking next to an ice statue of fish erected by environmental groups outside the WTO. Okonjo-Iweala has previously said that agreeing trade rules to facilitate COVID-19 vaccine distribution is also priority.
New WTO chief calls for tripling of vaccine production
       
By Emma Farge and Philip BlenkinsopGENEVA (Reuters) - The new chief of the World Trade Organization (WTO) urged its member states on Monday to work with pharmaceutical companies to license more COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing in developing countries in order to triple global production. "People are dying in poor countries," Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said on her first day in office. "The world has a normal capacity of production of 3.5 billion doses of vaccines and we now seek to manufacture 10 billion doses." In a speech to the WTO's 164 member states, she said there was an upcoming world manufacturing convention and urged the start of dialogue with manufacturers associations. The meeting was originally due to be held in Kazakhstan in 2020 but was delayed due to the pandemic.
US sanctions Russian officials over nerve-agent attack
       
The Biden administration sanctioned seven mid-level and senior Russian officials on Tuesday, along with more than a dozen government entities, over a nearly fatal nerve-agent attack on opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his subsequent jailing. The Russian leader was a favorite of former President Donald Trump even during covert Russian hacking and social media campaigns aimed at destabilizing the U.S. The administration coordinated the sanctions with the European Union, which added to its own sanctions Tuesday over the attack on Navalny. Navalny, 44, was sickened by the Russian nerve agent in an attack that the United States and others linked to Putin’s security services. Working with U.S. allies, “we must use an array of tools, including sanctions, to meaningfully deter, repel, and punish Moscow’s transgressions,” Schiff said in a statement.
Chinese Students Weigh Overseas Options As Covid-19 And US Visa Limits Take Toll: Report
       
"The Trump administration [discriminated] against Chinese students, especially those in the tech and postgraduate sectors. The assessment was part of the "Report on the Development of Chinese Students Studying Abroad 2020-2021". "This is directly related to the Trump administration's restrictions targeting international students studying in the US," according to the report. In May, then US secretary of state Mike Pompeo took aim at Chinese students and academics allegedly involved in espionage in the United States, revoking the visas of Chinese students and researchers with direct links to Chinese universities affiliated to the country's military. The report also said more Chinese students were returning to China after completing their studies overseas.
China eyes next-generation chip technology to take on global rivals
       
In just two decades, China sent people into space, built its own aircraft carrier and developed a stealth fighter jet. China wants to build a coterie of technology giants that can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Intel Corp. and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), conferring the same priority on that effort as it accorded to building atomic capability. A man visits a booth operated by Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC) at an exhibition in Shanghai in October. It’s already spending 2.4 times more than the U.S. on semiconductor equipment, much of it made by American companies, Morales wrote in a report. U.S.-based Cree Inc. and Japan’s Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd. are just beginning to grow such business, while Chinese rivals such as Sanan Optoelectronics Co. and state-owned China Electronics Technology Group Corp. have made inroads.
Raw chicken and metal shavings: Poor food has hospitalized Michigan National Guard troops in DC
       
Meanwhile, hundreds of guard members tested positive for COVID-19 with insiders describing a failure by the National Guard to implement coronavirus testing and social distancing protocols evenly across the board. Members of the Michigan National Guard have been forced to eat raw chicken, moldy bread and meals containing metal shavings while they remain on guard in Washington DC protecting the US Capitol from attackRaw chicken. The Michigan National Guard released a statement saying reports of undercooked and inadequate food was 'very concerning' and 'unacceptable.' DailyMail.com has contacted the DC National Guard for comment about how the issue is being resolved. The contract was awarded and is monitored by the National Guard Bureau, according to the Michigan National Guard.
Security in DC is beefed up further amid threat from far-right group Three Percenters
       
AdvertisementSecurity in Washington D.C. is being beefed up even further after Capitol police received intelligence that militia group the Three Percenters could be plotting to breach the Capitol this Thursday, March 4. Members of the National Guard pictured on TuesdayU.S. National Guard soldiers patrol outside the Hart Senate Office Building on Tuesday. The Michigan National Guard released a statement saying reports of undercooked and inadequate food was 'very concerning' and 'unacceptable.' 'The Michigan National Guard finds the reports of undercooked and poorly prepared food provided to our service members in Washington, D.C. very concerning. DailyMail.com has contacted the DC National Guard for comment about how the issue is being resolved.
Chinese students weigh overseas options as Covid-19 and US visa limits take toll: report
       
The decline in growth in the number of Chinese students studying the US is directly related to the Trump administration’s restrictions, according to a Beijing-based think tank. Photo: Xinhua
The apprentice
       
The foundation for Hawley’s political career was laid early. Like Trump, Hawley’s economic populism is selective. But Hawley does not want the Republican Party to be the party of Uber, at least; he wants to bring Silicon Valley to heel. “You have to go back a century to find a set of corporations that exert as much power,” Hawley said in 2019. They’ve concentrated so much party power in the hands of one man, and now, to put it in terms an economic populist might understand, Trumpism may be too big to fail.
We Need an Operation Warp Speed for Alzheimer's and Dementia
       
No president has entered the White House with as clear a focus on Alzheimer’s disease as Joe Biden. First, launch an Operation Warp Speed for Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Leveraging this model to combat Alzheimer’s will be critical – especially as the disease is unlikely to be solved with a simple vaccine. We need to educate every generation about the risk factors for dementia, an effort that could prevent or delay 40% of dementia cases. Launching a new Operation Warp Speed for Alzheimer’s and dementia will save millions of lives, bring economic relief to families nationwide and re-establish global leadership in the fight against this terrible disease.
Online sleuths link Harrisburg-area woman accused of stealing Nancy Pelosi’s laptop to neo-Nazi activism
       
A Pennsylvania woman accused in the theft of Nancy Pelosi’s laptop during the Capitol riot made a video giving a Heil Hitler salute and making neo-Nazi statements, according to digital sleuths at the investigative website Bellingcat. IDENTIFIED: Riley Williams, 22, from Pennsylvania stormed the buildings during the Washington DC siege. Federal prosecutors accused Williams of participating in the riot at the U.S. Capitol and theft in connection to Pelosi’s missing laptop. She has no prior criminal record in Pennsylvania, according to online court records, just six traffic violations from 2017 to 2019 in Cumberland and Dauphin counties. READ: Woman accused of stealing Nancy Pelosi’s laptop delays abuse hearing against man who called FBIREAD: ‘Not that Riley Williams’: Mechanicsburg teen mistaken for woman arrested in U.S. Capitol riot
With New York clearing the way, the House reissued a subpoena for Trump's tax records
       
The House Oversight Committee reissued a subpoena for former Trump's accounting firm, Mazar USA. Last week, The Supreme Court paved the way for the Manhattan DA's office to access the records. The House Oversight Committee reissued a subpoena for former President Donald Trump's accounting firm last week, House counsel Doug Letter said in a filing on Tuesday. Congressional investigators are working to get eight years of Trump's tax records from Mazars USA. Democrats have said that Trump's tax records were necessary so they could come up with financial disclosure legislation for future administrations., Politico reported.
US concerned over report of possible N Korea nuclear reprocessing
       
The Pentagon has expressed concern about North Korea’s nuclear activities after the United Nations’s nuclear watchdog indicated it was possible that the country was reprocessing nuclear fuel. And it is deeply concerning where North Korea wants to go,” Studeman told a virtual event on technology and security. North Korea has used its radiochemical lab at Yongbyon to reprocess plutonium from a reactor there for nuclear bombs. A confidential UN report last month said North Korea continued to develop its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes throughout 2020. North Korea uses both uranium and plutonium for nuclear weapons, but the latter allows for smaller and lighter bombs.
Police bolster security at US Capitol as QAnon theory claims Trump will become president March 4
       
“The most prominent and most vocal QAnon promoters are not on board with the March 4 date,” said Travis View, a QAnon researcher and host of the QAnon Anonymous podcast. When Trump left office on that day, and when the military tribunals and mass arrests of Democrats predicted by QAnon followers didn’t happen, some adherents gave up on their unfounded theories. “QAnon is generally a pretty big tent conspiracy theory, where they’re not eager to shoot down the theories of their fellow believers,” View said. Trump reignited the claim that the election was rigged and hinted that he will run for president in four years. “A lot of people believe, without talking about a specific date, that Trump will be president, and that the military will somehow be involved.”
‘It’s really sad, who says that?’: Lindsey Graham mocked for thanking Trump for ‘allowing me to be in his world’
       
The hosts of MSNBC’s Morning Joe mocked South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham for fawning comments he made about former president Donald Trump (MSNBC)South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham was roundly mocked for grovelling comments he made about Donald Trump in a TV interview. On MSNBC’s Morning Joe the following day, the co-hosts laughed at the senator’s subservient tone in praising his master. Mr Graham even got applause from his fellow senators when he acknowledged that Joe Biden would be the next president. However, Mr Graham was soon back in the Trump fold after an airport encounter with supporters of the president shortly after 6 January. “Lindsey Graham [is] trying to stay on the right side of the seditionists and QAnon people," Mr Scarborough reminded viewers.
China counters Uighur criticism with explicit attacks on women witnesses
       
The officials said the information was evidence of bad character, invalidating the women's accounts of abuse in Xinjiang. Story continuesUighurs make up most of the million people that a U.N. estimate says have been detained in Xinjiang camps under what the central government calls a campaign against terrorism. People of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, including Xinjiang women, live and work in peace and contentment." She's lazy and likes comfort, her private life is chaotic, her neighbours say that she committed adultery while in China." Last week, the top spokeswoman for China's foreign ministry, Hua Chunying, tweeted images of four named witnesses, saying they had "raked their brains for lies", adding "they will never succeed".
Op-Ed: It's official. Mohammed bin Salman is responsible for Jamal Khashoggi's murder. Hold him accountable
       
Mohammed bin Salman, left, and Jamal Khashoggi. (Associated Press / Tribune News Service)It's official: Mohammed bin Salman is responsible for Jamal Khashoggi's murder. That’s the inescapable conclusion from the declassified intelligence report released by the Biden administration on Friday. Unfortunately, the Biden administration has also decided to impose no meaningful penalty against Bin Salman. With its “recalibrated” exceptions to justice, Biden has waived culpability for Bin Salman in Jamal Khashoggi’s murder and weakened the rule of law worldwide.
Biden administration locks ICE twitter account
       
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency locked one of their twitter accounts Tuesday, halting all public safety alerts on illegal migrants in the U.S. with criminal backgrounds. The account, created in 2013 and bolstered under the Trump administration, was used to post details about known "fugitives," including their name, nationality, criminal history and the U.S. jurisdiction where they were released. Feere condemned the move as an attempt by the Biden administration to hide information about criminal migrants, particularly those with sexual assault and child abuse offenses. "ICE also used to post "Most Wanted Wednesday" tweets aimed at getting the public's help in locating public safety threats, Feere added. But an ICE spokesperson told Fox News the account was no longer being utilitzed under the new administration, "ICE continues to use its main twitter account, @ICEgov, and our regional twitter accounts to communicate with the public about our national security, border security, and public safety mission."
New York lawmakers agree to curb Cuomo’s powers in scandal rebuke
       
New York legislative leaders announced an agreement Tuesday to curb pandemic-related emergency powers granted to Gov. Several Democratic lawmakers have called on the governor to step down, and others have suggested impeachment. State lawmakers have been debating a curb on Cuomo’s emergency power for weeks. Third accountJames has been charged with choosing an outside attorney to look into Cuomo’s behavior in office. Advertisement“I don’t think he deserves the privilege of governing in New York state,” Kim said.
US Has No Need To Change Its 'strategic Ambiguity' About Taiwan, Says Ex-national Security Adviser H.R. McMaster
       
Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China. Beijing considers Taiwan a wayward province that must be reunited to the mainland fold eventually, by force if necessary. "Since World War I, the smaller and smaller US joint forces have had bigger and bigger impacts over wider areas based on our technological advantages," he said. More from South China Morning Post:Read the original article on South China Morning Post. For the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app.
Biden’s Cabinet half-empty after slow start in confirmations
       
Among Biden’s 23 nominees with Cabinet rank, just 13 have been confirmed by the Senate, or a little over half. And among the 15 core nominees to lead federal agencies, 10 have been confirmed, or about two thirds. That must change.”The Biden administration has prioritized confirming those nominees who are key to national security, the economy and public health decisions. The Biden administration has not been completely hamstrung by the slow pace of confirmations, however. And Stier noted that the Biden administration has installed hundreds of non-Senate-confirmed staff across the federal government, helping to provide guidance even without department heads in place.
FBI chief warns violent 'domestic terrorism' growing in US
       
Eric Tucker and Mary Clare JalonickAssociated PressWashington — FBI Director Christopher Wray bluntly labeled the January riot at the U.S. Capitol as “domestic terrorism” Tuesday and w